The Parish Council are now able to co-opt to a vacancy and are looking for someone who is enthusiastic about representing their community, likes to be involved and to get things done.
Parish Councillors are summoned to a monthly meeting and are expected to attend. Read ‘The Good Councillors Guide’ to get a flavour of what is involved.
Most Parish Councillors, by agreement, will take on a role around specific area of interest or related to specific activities of the council. Recently changes have been made to the way the agenda is put together and a policy adopted which is aimed at reducing the length of meetings and this is going well. A sub-committee has been established for the Play Area development which also helps in managing meeting length.
Currently the Parish Council are working on a development project for the Play Area, getting towards the end of an upgrade plan for streetlighting that will reduce maintenance and electricity costs, are taking the lead in the appointment of a consultant to assist the Neighbourhood Plan group with the writing up of the plan, contracting for repairs to the closed churchyard wall and the removal of ivy overgrowth to tombstones, contracting to have the debris cleared that has formed under the hedge along The Causeway so reclaiming some pavement, starting to plan for the Annual Meeting of the Parish in September, consulting residents for ideas for the use of Community Infrastructure Levy grant funding, and planning for an annual maintenance programme for the village stream. Also on the agenda is the review of the Community Emergency Plan which is overdue.
CONSULTATION – COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY FUNDING
Community Infrastructure Levy is collected from developers by local authorities on new developments based on total occupied households. Local authorities use this to help deliver infrastructure needed to support development and ensure facilities and services have capacity to keep up. A proportion is passed to local communities via Parish Councils to enable sustainable growth by offsetting the impact of additional homes on facilities such as:
The Parish Council has already undertaken to commit to the following expenditures:
Street lighting – Upgrading to LED reducing maintenance and running costs – £22,000 to date. Approximately £15,000 for the remaining 15 lamps.
Play Area – The PC recently assumed responsibility for play area development. CIL funding will enable further funds to be raised – £44,000 (£15k will be CIL)
Church wall – a statutory obligation – £9,000
New storage shed for parish assets – £1,500
Clearance of existing village footpath on The Causeway – £1,000
The Parish Council must be mindful of CIL spending rules and its own legal powers in determining how the funds will be spent within the timescales allowed. All CIL spending has to be reported annually to the District Council. Guidance will be sought as necessary. Any CIL monies deemed improperly spent have to be repaid. Other ideas for the use of these funds are:
Moving of street signage
Traffic calming measures (that have to be approved by Highways) e.g. village gates, extension to 30mph limits, double yellow lines, chicanes or road narrowing (maybe on Sumner Road and/or The Causeway), speed bumps.
This is our first full year as a formal charity and although everyone is welcome to the AGM, they have a tendency not to be seen as an exciting event so our hope this year is to use the occasion to invite others in the community to join us, either then or later in the afternoon, to view what is on offer, to ask questions and maybe give guidance on what else we might tackle in the future.
We also want to use the occasion to thank individuals who have given time and money to transform our clubhouse during the lockdown period and hope they also will join us in a cup of tea, some nibbles, and a good chinwag.
Finally sport, leisure and amenities will be key elements of the Neighbourhood Plan for the village, and we want to know how best the Club fits into that.
The Government intends to ‘scrape’ the medical records of 55 million people starting June 23rd 2021 with little effort to inform the public of what is about to happen. Have you heard from your GP about this? Has the Government given your GP time to inform you and get responses back?
The Government tried this back in 2013/14 and were challenged and stopped. Now they are trying again with little publicity and at short ‘notice’.
NHS Digital have not been open about exactly who will get access to the information database. Will it be big pharma, the health subsidiary of Google known as Deepmind or other powerful corporations such as insurance companies?
All village residents are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of The Walsham le Willows Community Council (charity number 278321) and Memorial Hall Walsham le Willows (charity number 304950) Date: Friday 25th June 2021 Time: 7:30 pm Place: Memorial Hall Walsham le Willows
The Parish Council commissioned and funded a speed traffic data survey having been advised that no data existed for the Finningham Road approach to the village.
The original survey was compromised due to damage to the strips across the road so was repeated in April 2021. Locations selected were outside the Blue Boar on The Street and on the Finningham Road approach just inside the 30pmh limit. The choice of locations is limited by a number of factors including the fact that the equipment has to be tethered and needs to be placed to record movements relatively free of areas that cause slowing.
The second survey was done as lockdown was eased and traffic had picked up and also outside of half term dates. The data is still being analysed but unfortunately, on first sight, it does not appear to provide a great deal of support for the reports of widespread speeding violations.
In line with the Government guidance, Step Three of the roadmap out of lockdown, the Memorial Village Hall is able to safely re-open, with only limited restrictions.
Yoga and Tai Chi exercise classes have restarted along with a new Otago positive steps class on Wednesday 11.30am till 12.30, both joining the children’s Musical Theatre Classes already taking place on a Monday.
Coffee shop on a Thursday can now be inside as well as in the garden, so no longer reliant on sunny weather.
The committee look forward to welcoming more events and more people to the refurbished hall. Come along and see the new kitchen and lobby area.
Babergh and Mid- Suffolk District Councils have just launched a public consultation around cycling and walking Infrastructure to give residents and communities the opportunity comment on desired improvements to local walking and cycling routes and facilities. The consultation will feed into the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.
Given recent ideas about connecting the Sports Club to the village with a new footpath you may like to comment on this.
Click on “View map and comment” to identify the location your comment/suggestion refers to, and then the “Have your say” button at top right to answer a few short questions about how Walking or Cycling could be improved.
The Committee have been agonising over whether this year’s event can go ahead and have sadly concluded that once again the 40th anniversary celebrations will have to be delayed, to the August BankHoliday in 2022.
The decision was not an easy one but continued uncertainty and the concerns of garden owners and volunteers have been taken into account.
The good news and something to look forward to, is the the Gardens Weekend Committee are planning to organise and fund a Village Celebration in and around St Mary’s Church to re-launch the Open Gardens Weekend for 2022.
So put Sunday 29th August 2021 in and watch the Observer for more details. If you have anything you would like to contribute to the conversation you are invited to email or telephone: firstname.lastname@example.org or | 01359 259061
With the Government 4 step roadmap out of lockdown going ahead, the village hall is gradually coming out of hibernation. As of the 12th of April some activities will be permitted, with the coffee shop starting this week outside in the garden each Thursday 10.30am till 12 midday.
As Government guidance is issued at each level, the hall will hopefully be able to hold more activities. To keep abreast of events and classes in the hall keep an eye on the website and information in the village Observer.
The government has been forced to backtrack on one of its most damaging proposals to deregulate the planning system that would have led to thousands fewer affordable homes being built in rural towns and villages across England.
Collective action as he been successful this time and for now, but there will probably be more to do, so remain vigilant.
Julia, our local yoga teacher, is hoping to offre occasional yoga classes at Walsham Wild Wood. Two very successful classes took place last year and Julia would like to hear from anyone who may be interested to this year. The classes will be on Saturdays 11 am – 12 midday and there will be a £ 5 charge.
You will need to bring your own mat and wear appropriate clothes for the weather. Compliance with Covid restrictions will be ongoing.
Once it becomes clear how many people are interested, dates can be suggested. Julia would take a decision on the weather for each class.
The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group has been looking at two main themes. Planning and Environment. They both involve understanding local needs and what we’re looking to protect as a community. Below are some interesting examples from our research into what’s happening across East Anglia and locally.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust, together with Suffolk Biodiversity Services, is working towards a 30% target for land and sea to be protected and connected through maps of wildlife corridors and reserves by 2030. This provides some of the ecological information for our NP. https://www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/30by30
Wild-East is supporting pledges from individuals and groups to take care of areas for the benefit of biodiversity and re-wildling. It includes an interesting map detailing all of landscapes pledged. https://www.wildeast.co.uk/
Greener Growth’s Bury Green Spaces Project is a collaboration of many smaller organizations that invites residents to highlight areas on a map and via a questionnaire to help to identify and create wildlife corridors. https://burygreenspaces.home.blog/
The Oak Tree Farm is a model of a local community membership scheme with one full time farmer and volunteers creating a veg box scheme, other local produce and community events. https://www.the-oak-tree.co.uk/
Pandemic lockdowns meant the planning for the 40th 2020 anniversary had to be postponed. The committee are hoping that the 40th will now go ahead in 2021, if at all possible, but are very much aware of the genuine concerns about the safety of the event for many garden owners, volunteers and, of course visitors.
The committee are focused, as always, on ensuring a successful and safe event. With this in mind a decision has been postponed until after the 12th of April when the way out of lockdown will hopefully be clearer and planning might be possible with more certainty.
If you have anything you woudl like to contribute to the conversation then please email email@example.com or call on 01359 259061.
John Stebbing Secretary Walsham le Willows Open Gardens Trust
With snowdrops, daffodils, primroses and other spring flowers coming up in the garden at the village hall and the Government roadmap out of lockdown going ahead, it is hoped to open the Coffee Shop in the garden once again (weather permitting) from Thursday the 15th of April, 10.30am until 12.00.
The highest priority is making sure you feel safe so, in line with Government COVID 19 secure conditions, table service and the Rule of Six will be in operation. The Coffee shop will again coincide with the post office van’s visits to the village hall every Thursday, so why not pop to the Coffee Shop, catch up with friends or make new ones and sort out your post and banking at the post office van.
From Monday the 3rd of May Mairi Barclay will be running a musical theatre class for children at the hall. So for all the young thespians, dancers and singers out there, here is a chance for you to shine, learn and just have a lot of fun. The first class is free and then £5 for each class after that. For more information contact Mairi via email at mbbmusicaltheatre@gmail,com. These classes can run in line with the four steps out of lock down, with indoor children’s activities being allowed after the 12th of April including dance classes and musical actives. Unfortunately the yoga classes, adult exercise classes and indoor coffee shop will have to wait until after the 17th of May in line with Step Three, when it is hoped these can start again.
The food bank continues to be well supported and new referrals from agencies continue, thank you to all those who donate.
We will continue to monitor Government and ACRE guidelines and information to allow the hall to reopen safely at each step. Thank you for your continued support and understanding in these extraordinary times.
Wattisfield Road, Walsham Le Willows, Suffolk 03 March — 05 March Delays unlikely – Some carriageway incursionWorks location: Misty View Works description: [Utility repair and maintenance works] Stoptap Replacements… Responsibility for works: Anglian Water Current status: Advanced planning Works reference: AD03158597826
Sheepgate Lane, Walsham Le Willows, Suffolk 08 March — 12 March Delays likely – Road closureWorks location: The full length of the road… Works description: Carriageway patching 07.00 to 16.00… Responsibility for works: Suffolk County Council Current status: Advanced planning Works reference: LY3015463-1
Sheepgate Lane, Badwell Ash, Suffolk 08 March — 12 March Delays likely – Road closureWorks location: The full length of the road… Works description: Carriageway patching 07.00 to 16.00… Responsibility for works: Suffolk County Council Current status: Advanced planning Works reference: LY3015463
Ixworth Road, Walsham Le Willows, Suffolk 09 March — 11 March Delays likely – Road closureWorks location: The lawn Works description: [Utility repair and maintenance works] New Connection… Responsibility for works: Anglian Water Current status: Advanced planning Works reference: AD03010616770
We are advised that kerbed gutters will be swept in Walsham le Willows on Thursday 4th March, starting with The Street at 9am.
If you own a car that is kept on the highway and you are able to move it on the evening of 3rd March until evening of 4th March this would help to ensure a clean sweep which also helps to reduce the amount of debris washed down the drains.
Please let the Parish Clerk know if you feel your street does not get swept.
What are the silver linings in the midst of this horrible period?
Participating in the neighbourhood planning group, our focus has been on seeking an appropriate route forward for the right housing development within the village but the next stage in the Plan is to consider what might improve our existing footpaths, wildlife corridors or even our long-term contribution to global warming by planting more trees. We are incredibly lucky in our local farmers with the many footpaths well maintained and also their general use of environment schemes for the benefit of wildlife, however changes in the support mechanisms after Brexit means new opportunities will occur.