• Market Place parking restrictions to change

    Thursday, July 18, 2024 - 08:34

    Notes from the Reepham Town Council meeting on 10 July (full minutes can be found on the town council website).

    The town council is exploring options to ensure the Christmas trees are installed and lit around the Market Place this December. The council is fortunate that there is a group of willing and able volunteers to assist with this.

    Norfolk County Council has agreed to update parking restrictions in the Market Place, to remove the Wednesday morning parking ban, and to increase the time allowed to park to two hours. Unfortunately, its legal procedures are slow, so these will not change in the near future.

    Planning applications were discussed and responses agreed. The town council has strongly recommended that Broadland District Council asks for an Environmental Impact Assessment for the site of the proposed solar farm with battery storage.

    The fence around the play area on Ash Close has become rotten and is broken in places. Quotes are being obtained to remove it and install a new fence.

    ND Willan has kindly filled in the potholes in the Stimpson’s Piece carpark, free of charge. Thanks are passed to them for this extremely generous act.

    The redevelopment of the recreation ground, including a new skatepark, was discussed. Work is continuing to finalise a location for the new skatepark, along with other equipment. Funding can then be applied for.

    Reepham Town Football Club is unable to field a team for next season. Two other teams are interesting in hiring the facilities.

    The next town council meeting will take place on Wednesday 11 September, at 7.30 pm at Stimpson’s Piece Pavilion, followed by the Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting.

    The town hall and Stimpson’s Piece are available to hire. Please contact the town clerk on 01603 873355 or email for availability and prices.

  • Notes from the Reepham Town Council meeting on 12 June

    Friday, June 14, 2024 - 17:43

    Two representatives from Albanwise Synergy were in attendance, which is consulting on a potential planning application for a solar farm and battery storage at Pettywell. Information on the project can be found HERE.

    PC Colin Bailey reported that the person who tampered with 18 vehicles in the town recently has been arrested and charged. Anti-social behaviour remains a priority for the police.

    The annual accounts were approved and will be sent to the external auditor. Members of the public are welcome to inspect the accounts by appointment from Monday 17 June to Friday 26 July.

    Owing to the lack of volunteers, the Festival of Light will not be taking place this year. The organising committee and Reepham & District Rotary Club have asked the town council to take on the responsibility for the large Christmas tree and the small wall-mounted trees surrounding the Market Place. This will be looked into and discussed further at the July meeting.

    Quotes are being obtained for the repair of the Ollands Road wall, the roof of the town hall and the external decorating of the town hall. If any contractors are interested in providing a quote, please contact the town clerk.

    The construction company responsible for the cabling corridor for Norfolk Vanguard will need to close World’s End Lane and the track leading to the allotments, hopefully just for one day. The clerk has contacted the company to advise that access must remain, as some allotment holders have poultry on their plots, and is waiting for a response.

    The next town council meeting will take place on Wednesday 10 July at 7:30 pm at Stimpson’s Piece Community Hall and Pavilion.

    The town hall and Stimpson’s Piece community hall are available to hire. Please contact the town clerk on 01603 873355 or email for availability and prices.

    Full council minutes can be found on the Reepham Town Council website.

  • New measures to combat anti-social behaviour

    Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 16:59

    As the meeting on 8 May was the annual meeting of Reepham Town Council, responsibilities for various aspects of the council’s work, such as a personnel committee, councillors responsible for financial checks and allotments and members of the Stimpson’s Piece Working Group, were agreed.

    Police Sergeant James Marrison from Norfolk Constabulary attended the meeting and explained that the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 gives councils the power to make Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) to ban any activities they consider having a detrimental effect on the lives of others.

    Broadland District Council has used its powers to put into place a PSPO which relates to the misuse of motor vehicles and covers the whole Broadland District Council area. Under the order, which applies in Reepham, it is an offence to use a motor vehicle in a manner that causes distress to residents, for example by revving engines, performing stunts or sounding car horns unnecessarily. PSPOs can be enforced by the police, council enforcement officers or any other authorised officers and lead to fixed penalty fines of £100.

    The PSPOs are in operation 365 days per year, 24 hours per day, and will be in place for the next three years. A review will be undertaken at 12 months to identify the effectiveness of the new Order and whether there needs to be any amendments made. Full details can be found on the Broadland and South Norfolk website.

    Market Place parking

    The town council continues to be concerned about the parking arrangements in the Market Place, whereby parking is not allowed on the King’s Arms side on a Wednesday morning, despite there being no market, and those attending the Sunshine Café for people with dementia and their carers receiving parking fines.

    The town council is working with District Councillor Greg Peck and Jerome Mayhew MP to have the parking restriction on Wednesday mornings removed and the time limit increased from 90 minutes to two hours all week.

    Visitor economy strategy

    Graham Peers from Broadland District Council spoke about the Broadland and South Norfolk visitor economy strategy, which is looking at attracting visitors to market towns such as Reepham via websites. The town council agreed to consider this further once more information had been received.

    Stimpson’s Piece improvements

    As trustee of Stimpson’s Piece, the town council continues to improve the outside areas, the community hall and pavilion.

    The community hall has been completely redecorated by those involved in the Community Payback programme, who did a very good job, so the hall now looks clean and tidy and is in use for most of the week by various community organisations.

    A consultation with young people from the primary and secondary schools and a public consultation session at the Dial House indicated a strong wish for additional play equipment and a skate park.

    There were 108 responses to a recent survey with 105 in favour of a skate park. The next stage is to produce a clear development plan for Stimpson’s Piece, which will identify where equipment and the skate park would be situated, with the aim of submitting a grant application by November.

    Councillor vacancy

    Reepham Town Council has one vacancy. If you would like to help care for the public areas of Reepham and be involved in the decision making processes, the council would like to hear from you. Please contact the town clerk by email or telephone 01603 873355.

    Paul Mitchell, Chair, Reepham Town Council

  • Notes from Reepham Town Council meeting on 13 March

    Sunday, March 17, 2024 - 11:54

    A grant of £150 was awarded to the Reepham Classic Car Festival, which will take place on Sunday 29 September.

    It was agreed that the King’s Arms and Reepham Festival can fence off half of the Market Place to allow for bands to play on Sunday 11 August. Music will be finished by 6 pm.

    There are a small number of vacant allotment plots on the Fiddler’s Field site. Please contact the town clerk to express your interest.

    A request was received, via the local MP, to install an additional street light in the town. Any decision to install additional lights would need to be made in a town-wide consultation. The town council does not have any plans currently to add additional lighting to the town.

    Ørsted, which is currently installing an offshore wind farm electricity cable corridor through the area, has offered to attend a meeting. It has asked for questions in advance, so if anyone is interested in attending a meeting and asking a question, please contact the clerk (details below) by Wednesday 10 April. If there is enough interest, Ørsted will be invited to a meeting.

    The next town council meeting will take place on Wednesday 10 April at 7.30 pm at Stimpson’s Piece pavilion, Bartle Court, Reepham, followed by the Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting.

    The town hall and Stimpson’s Piece pavilion are available to hire. Please contact the town clerk on 01603 873355 or email for availability and prices.

    Full council minutes can be found on the Reepham Town Council website.

  • Redevelopment of community hall

    Monday, February 12, 2024 - 08:48

    Following the move of the nursery school to new accommodation at the primary school, Reepham Town Council has been developing the large hall, which is separate from the pavilion area of Stimpson’s Piece, into a community hall.

    Considerable progress has been made in this transition including replacing old picnic tables, repairs to the gutters, insulating the loft space, replacement of the old lights with modern LED units, installing new ceiling tiles, improvements to the control of the ground source heating system and, with the help of a generous grant from Reepham Festival, enhancing the signage and purchasing new chairs. Future plans include redecoration of the hall and improvements to the kitchen.

    The community hall, with its extensive parking, has become increasingly popular for community activities, including dance classes, mother and baby sessions, Zumba and private events, such as birthday parties, with two other weekly activities commencing after Easter. To book the hall or for a no obligation viewing, please contact the town clerk (details below).

    Defibrillator for Stimpson’s Piece

    With the help of a grant from London Hearts, a leading defibrillator charity, and contributions from Reepham Tennis Club, Reepham Runners and Reepham Town Football Club, the town council has been able to install a defibrillator at Stimpson’s Piece. It can be found close to the main entrance door.

    Photo: Reepham Town Council

    Youth facilities

    The trustees of Stimpson’s Piece are currently at an early stage of planning improvements to the range of outside facilities for young people and the wider community.

    Thanks to Cllr Sam James and the town clerk, initial ideas have been sought from young people, but the trustees are keen to receive ideas from residents across the full age range.

    If you have any thoughts on how the outdoor provision at Stimpson’s Piece could be improved or would like to play a part in formulating or contributing to a development plan, please contact the town clerk by email or telephone 01603 873355.

  • Tribute to community stalwart

    Tuesday, December 19, 2023 - 12:45

    Russell Betts, who attended Reepham Town Council meetings for many years as a member of the public, passed away on 20 November at the age of 95. He was previously a trustee of the Bircham Centre and contributed much to the Reepham community over his long life.

    The council offers its condolences to Russell’s wife June, to whom he was married for 71 years, and to his wider family.

    Precept increase

    The town council’s budget was circulated to councillors prior to its meeting on Wednesday 6 December. The council is aware that many people are under pressure financially due to inflation and the increasing cost of mortgages and rents.

    Funding of the town council is by way of the precept, which is raised through Council Tax. Despite the high rate of inflation, the precept increase has been kept as low as possible and represents a £2.10 per year increase for a Band D property.

    Donation from music festival

    As trustee of the Stimpson’s Piece Charity, Reepham Town Council is responsible to the Charity Commission for the management of the Stimpson’s Piece grounds and pavilion.

    Helped by a donation of £800 from the Reepham Festival, new signage and 70 new chairs have been purchased. The trustee would like to thank the organisers of the music festival for their generosity.

    Defibrillator at Stimpson’s Piece

    Although there is a defibrillator at the Co-op on Station Road, there has been concern for some time that there is no defibrillator at Stimpson’s Piece. The town clerk has applied for a grant for 50/50 match funding and was successful.

    However, the defibrillator requires an electricity supply to keep its batteries charged. The clerk has therefore written to the local groups that use the recreation ground to ask for a contribution towards the installation costs.

    Hall for hire

    Stimpson’s Piece pavilion is available to hire for community activities, children’s parties, etc. However, this is a community hall, not a gymnasium, so hire for ball games, which are liable to cause damage to the ceiling tiles or the walls, is not permitted.

    The trustees recently met with a representative of the high school and were informed that the school is keen to increase community use of its sports facilities. Anyone who wishes to organise activities, such as dodgeball, should contact the school.

    It is hoped that the hall will be redecorated soon under the community payback scheme. Please contact the town clerk if you are interested in hiring the hall for your event.

    The town council is also keen to hear from anyone who would be willing to volunteer to help with the running, care or maintenance of the building, children’s play area or grounds.

    Town council vacancies

    Reepham Town Council currently has nine councillors and three vacancies. The council is able to co-opt those who reside in Reepham or have business interests in the town to its ranks and is keen to hear from anyone who may be interested in helping to look after Reepham.

    Councillors are unpaid but are supported by a part-time town clerk and a part-time finance officer, both of whom have extensive experience in their roles.

    There is more information on the town council website. If you would like to know more, without any obligation, please contact the town clerk by email or telephone 01603 873355.

    Council meetings

    Members of the public are entitled to attend monthly town council meetings and have their say on any agenda item, so why not come along and gain a better understanding of the council’s work?

    Meetings are normally held at 7.30 pm on the second Wednesday of each month at Stimpson’s Piece Pavilion, Bartle Court, Reepham.

  • Notes from the September meeting of Reepham Town Council

    Wednesday, September 20, 2023 - 19:55

     

    Allotment rentals to increase in 2024

    At the request of allotment holders, who felt that autumn is a better time for allotments to change hands, the allotment renewal date has now changed to October annually.

    Due to tall hedging shading plots on all three allotment sites, extensive hedge cutting and tree work has been required at considerable expense.

    To help offset this cost the town council will need to increase the rental to £35 per year for a half-sized plot and £70 for a full-sized plot from October 2024.

    Feasibility study on extension to 20 mph speed limit

    Road safety in Reepham, which is a matter of concern for many residents, continues to be high on the town council’s priorities.

    Following requests to Norfolk Highways for an extension of the 20 mph speed limit along Norwich Road as far as the junction with The Moor and a ban on heavy goods vehicles over 3.5 tons unladen weight using Market Place and Church Hill (except for access/deliveries), a feasibility study on possible changes has been carried out by Norfolk County Council and a report is expected shortly.

    It is hoped that this will be received soon so it can be considered at the October meeting of the town council.

    Volunteers needed to help with Neighbourhood Plan

    At Reepham Town Council’s meeting on 13 September, District Councillor Stuart Beadle spoke in favour of a Neighbourhood Plan for Reepham and suggested that, by working on such a plan, it would encourage more people to join the town council. He also offered help with publicity and other assistance wherever required.

    However, although this has been discussed and publicised previously, there has been no interest from members of the community in getting involved in its production.

    There is also no capacity within the town council, which still has vacancies, for two councillors to commit to the time and effort required, which will be extensive.

    It was agreed not to pursue a Neighbourhood Plan further, unless willing volunteers from the community come forward.

    The town clerk will contact two people who Cllr Beadle feels may be interested in helping with a view to them joining the town council.

    There are some advantages to having a Neighbourhood Plan, such as the town council being able to determine how more of the Community Infrastructure Levy, which is paid by housing developers, is spent.

    However, it is clear that, although Broadland District Council as the planning authority must have regard to the Neighbourhood Plan, it can override the plan.

    Cllr Beadle also explained that a Neighbourhood Plan would not stop large-scale developments, such as Broomhill Lane, but may influence lesser matters, such as the site layout and design of the buildings.

    If you feel that Reepham should have a Neighbourhood Plan and are willing to help with its preparation, please contact the town clerk (details below).

    More youth engagement

    Cllr Sam James would like to develop more youth engagement in Reepham. To access grant funding, the council will need to identify and engage with young people in the town.

    MAP youth charity and the Youth Advisory Board can support engagement and assist with pop-up sessions at the high school to generate ideas and also help to arrange some sessions away from the school, which should assist in identifying what young people would benefit from in Reepham.

    The town council continues to support this work, which will be geared towards secondary school children initially. Cllr James and the town clerk will arrange a meeting with potential young volunteers.

    Stop fly-tipping in Station Road car park

    Residents are requested not to leave paper/cardboard and other recyclables in front of the paper bank in the Station Road car park as this is fly-tipping.

    If you notice that the paper bank is getting towards being full, please let the town clerk know (details below) as there is often a delay between contacting the company that empties the paper bank and the bank being emptied.

    Town council vacancies

    Reepham Town Council currently has three vacancies. If you would like to support your local community by joining the council, please contact the town clerk (clerk@reephamtowncouncil.org.uk or 01603 873355) for further information without any obligation.

  • Town council to consider Neighbourhood Plan

    Saturday, June 10, 2023 - 21:28

    Following a request by District Councillor Stuart Beadle, at its next meeting on Wednesday 14 June at Stimpson’s Piece Pavilion, Reepham Town Council will consider whether to support the writing of a Neighbourhood Plan for the town.

    Government literature states that “Neighbourhood Planning is a way for communities to have a say in the future of the places where they live and work.

    “It gives it the power to produce a plan with real legal weight that directs development in your local area.

    “It helps a community to:

    • choose where it wants new homes, shops and offices to be built
    • have a say on what those new buildings should look like
    • grant planning permission for the new buildings it wants to see go ahead.”
       

    Such a plan requires a large amount of work, which is beyond the capacity of the town council, and would require the involvement and input from volunteers from Reepham who are willing to give time to the consultation process and preparation of the plan.

    It is understood that support will be available from South Norfolk and Broadland District Council.

    If you would like to become involved in this work please let the town clerk know (contact details below).

    Whether the preparation of a plan goes ahead will depend on the commitment and support of the community and individuals who are willing to get involved in preparing the plan.

    Traffic issues

    Traffic in Reepham continues to be a cause for concern for the town council and residents in general.

    Greg Peck, county councillor for Reepham, has agreed to fund a feasibility study to seek ways of improving the traffic situation in Reepham, particularly in respect of extending the 20 mph zone and a reduction in heavy goods vehicles coming through the town.

    The frequent damage to the churchyard wall is indicative of the impact of HGVs.

    Offshore wind farms

    Although the town council supports renewable energy, with two offshore wind farm cable routes coming close to Reepham it is concerned about the likely impact on the town of associated traffic and inevitable road closures where the cable routes cross access roads to Reepham.

    As a result of lobbying, Ørsted has agreed that construction traffic for its cables will not use the B1145 from Bawdeswell to Reepham, which should prevent further congestion at Townsend Corner.

    Stimpson’s Piece

    As trustee of Stimpson’s Piece, Reepham Town Council is continuing to make improvements to the building, as a result of which it is good to see that usage by the community has increased.

    As well as a number of regular users, the pavilion has become popular for “one off” hire, for example, for children’s parties.

    Please contact the town clerk if you are interested in hiring the hall for your event.

    As a result of successful grant applications to Broadland District Council and the National Lottery to improve the energy efficiency of the pavilion, the loft area has been fully insulated and new LED lights have been installed.

    This has already had an impact on energy consumption so that the efficiency of the building has increased considerably.

    The trustees recognise that further work is needed to improve the appearance of the outside of the building and plans to improve this are under consideration.

    The children’s play area is popular with younger children and the newly installed basketball net is becoming increasingly popular with teenagers.

    Council vacancies

    Following the May local elections, the town council now has eight councillors and four vacancies.

    The council is able to co-opt residents to its ranks and is keen to hear from anyone who may be interested in helping to look after Reepham.

    Councillors are unpaid but are supported by a part-time town clerk and a part-time finance officer, both of whom have extensive experience in their roles; there is more information on the town council website.

    If you would like to know more, without obligation, please contact the town clerk by email or telephone 01603 873355.

  • Chairman’s statement 2023

    Wednesday, May 17, 2023 - 20:29

    The past 12 months have been a relatively busy year for Reepham Town Council, in particular for the town clerk and finance officer, who work hard to ensure the council is effective and meets its responsibilities to the community.

    There are 12 councillor positions on the town council and it is disappointing that in a town of this size there were vacancies on the council; we were fortunate to co-opt two councillors at the January meeting.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committed group of councillors who have enabled the town council to carry out its work for the past year and, in some cases, for much longer.

    Through prudent financial management Reepham Town Council managed to keep the rise in the precept, which is the town council’s share of council tax, to 2.9% and has managed to do this again for 2023/24 against a national inflation figure of around 10%.

    Platinum Jubilee celebrations

    In June 2022 the town council worked closely with the Bircham Centre, Reepham Lions, Reepham & District Rotary Club and other organisations to organise afternoon tea for 250 residents to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.

    Despite the rain, and thanks to the foresight of the organisers to arrange alternative indoor venues, this was a very successful event about which we received much positive feedback. It was particularly significant in that it brought together a number of Reepham organisations and that spirit of collaboration has continued.

    Traffic concerns

    Matters relating to the Broomhill Lane development took up a considerable amount of the council’s time. Although this received approval and will provide housing, including affordable housing, the council continues to have concerns about the impact of the additional traffic on traffic congestion at Townsend Corner and road safety in School Road and Whitwell Road.

    The town council continues to monitor and lobby for improvements to the traffic situation in Reepham. This has led to: much improved 20 mph signs with flashing lights outside the schools; Ørsted agreeing that construction traffic for the wind farm cables will not use the B1145 from Bawdeswell to Reepham; and a promise of a feasibility study in respect of extending the 20 mph limits in Reepham.

    For many years the town council has maintained the churchyard under an agreement with the diocese. However, due to the high financial liability, which is not sustainable within the council’s finances, 12 months’ notice has been given to terminate the agreement.

    Local grants

    The town council has a relatively small sum of money to provide grants to local organisations. Some of this expenditure comes from income from investments and from glass recycling, although, now that residents can put glass in their recycling bin, income from that source has declined considerably.

    The town council continues to manage allotments on three sites, enabling residents to have access to these amenities.

    Following repeated criminal damage to the public toilets the town council installed CCTV cameras at the entrance, which led to the arrest of the person responsible. Appropriate action has been taken by the police and the council has received compensation from the offender.

    Stimpson’s Piece

    The town council is the trustee of the Stimpson’s Piece charity and, as such, manages all aspects of the recreation ground and pavilion. The nursery school, which had been based in the pavilion for a number of years, moved to the primary school last summer.

    This was excellent in that it enabled the nursery to work closely with the primary school but it resulted in a loss of income, which, thanks to the efforts of the clerk, has been largely replaced by other users hiring the premises.

    During the year, grants were obtained to improve the energy efficiency of the pavilion. These were used to install roof insulation and replace damaged tiles in the ceiling. This insulation together with better management of the heating system has reduced costs considerably.

    Repairs have also been carried out to the soakaways, which has stopped water seeping into the kitchen. The emergency fire-exit doors, which had decayed beyond repair, have also been replaced.

    The site of the old tennis courts, which had become overgrown over many years, was cleared and is now available for additional parking.

    As a result of corrosion, which had made the skate ramp unrepairable, the equipment was removed. Use has been made of the area by the installation of a basketball hoop, which has proven to be popular with young people.

    Key provisions

    In conclusion I would like to repeat my thanks to the clerk, the finance officer and fellow councillors for their work and support over the past year. I feel that it is worth reminding ourselves of the key role that the town council has in helping to maintain the public areas of the town including key provision, such as the cemetery, public toilets, Market Place, town hall, etc.

    Paul Mitchell, Chair, Reepham Town Council, 10 May 2023

  • Facilities available for public use and private hire

    Tuesday, January 17, 2023 - 15:09

    At its meeting on Wednesday 11 January, Reepham Town Council welcomed two new councillors: Monique Boshoff and James Prigmore, who were co-opted at the meeting. The town council now has 10 councillors with two vacancies.

    Road safety

    The town council continues to share the concerns of many residents about road safety in Reepham.

    The churchyard wall has now been hit by heavy lorries twice recently. Thanks to quick-thinking members of the public who photographed the lorries, allowing their owners to be identified, the town council has been able to make insurance claims from those responsible.

    The council is continuing to push for a range of measures, as detailed in previous editions of Your Council Matters (3 October and 16 November 2022).

    Stimpson’s Piece improvements

    Although the pavilion at Stimpson’s Piece is heated by a ground source heat pump, the building is not insulated.

    Following a successful bid for energy-saving grants, work will now take place over the next two to three weeks to install loft insulation.

    Over the past two years the following work has been carried out at Stimpson’s Piece:

     

    Open spaces:

    • Replacement of the multi-activity equipment and the toddler swing in the children’s play area.
    • Installation of CCTV to reduce vandalism.
    • Purchase of a basketball goal (to be installed soon).
    • Clearance of the disused tennis courts.
    • Replacement of rotten wooden benches and picnic tables.

     

    Pavilion:

    • Lining of gutters to repair leaks.
    • Excavation and replacement of two soakaways.
    • Replacement of worn-out fire doors.
    • Redecoration of the main hall.
    • Application for grants for roof insulation – to be installed, together with replacement tiles, in the next 2–3 weeks.
    • Replacement of crockery.
    • Purchase of picnic tables outside the café.

     

    As a result of these improvements, Stimpson’s Piece pavilion has become increasingly popular for use by organisations and for private hire; the town hall is also available for hire.

    If you would like to view Stimpson’s Piece Pavilion or the town hall with a view to hiring it, without obligation, or if there are any matters that you would like the town council to consider and take action, please telephone the clerk, who is also secretary to the Stimpson’s Piece Charity, on 01603 873355 or email.

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