Annual Parish Council Question Time – 2023

Subscribe to email communications about the Annual Question Time Meeting. Unsubscribe at any time.

The Parish Council would like to thank all those who came along to the Question Time annual meeting of the parish.  The aim was to assist the Parish Council in formulating priorities for the year ahead, to involve as many members of the community as possible and to share the successes and challenges the Parish Council encountered over the previous twelve months.  Newly elected Mid-Suffolk District Councillor, Richard Winch, Green Party and Jessica Fleming, Suffolk County Councillor, Conservative Party attended to answer questions.

Parish Councillors found the discussion really useful with much to think about; concerns and possible solutions were discussed whilst all recognised the difficulties for local communities making their voices heard with some of the issues raised. 

The concerns raised were:

  • The proposed large scale commercial development of land to the west of the A143 on the Shepherd’s Grove estate (the Jaynic development and now the potential for another alongside by Evolution) and the issues of further increased traffic including HGVs and vans both on the A143 and through local villages, and the loss of a rural landscape through inappropriate overdevelopment and air, light and water pollution.
  • Ever increasing volumes of traffic, the pros and cons of parking on the streets in the centre of the village and the perception of cars driving too quickly
  • The impact of housing development on the village and its infrastructure, including public transport; our neighbourhood plan and at what point it starts to carry weight in the planning process
  • Footpaths were rasied and the Chair of the Parish Council explained the difference between public paths and permissive paths and responsibilities for signage and cutting to keep paths clear
  • Ian Campbell invited people to visit the Sports Club to see the development of a gym suite part funded by CIL seed funding from the Parish Council
  • After questions, the Chair of the Parish Council then delivered his annual report

There were requests to be kept up to date with some of these issues. These are usually documented on the village website and also in the minutes of Parish Council minutes also published on the website and in The Observer. In order to further improve involvement and communication, all who wish to receive updates on specific issues are invited to contact the Parish Clerk and request their details be added to a parish council communications database. The database of names collected for Neighbourhood Plan communications will updated and used to allow people to register their interest in communications on specific topics – these will be no more than one a month and considerably less when there are no major developments on planning issues of note.

Please watch out for further information on the progress of the Neighbourhood Plan which once passed by referendum and adopted by Mid-Suffolk District Council will then have to be taken into account for each submitted planning application which means our voice carrying more weight in planning decisions.

Also, get involved in finding out more about the plans for Shepherd’s Grove and make comments by writing to your MP, local councillors or commenting on the Mid-Suffolk District Council Planning Portal at the relevant time.

Wild Wood & Jubilee Wood – Update

Visitors to the Wild Wood will have seen that planting in the Jubilee Wood is well advanced with over 800 individual whips and their spiral protection set in the ground in the autumn of 2022 after we had seeded a large area with a grass and wild flower meadow mix provided by Mid Suffolk District Council. Things really got underway quickly after we secured the lease on the new land and the relatively mild winter has resulted in the whips being full of buds and the seed germinating so we look forward to the coming spring with keen anticipation.

We had our first meeting of the year and agreed on some dates and some events that we hope will attract support and so please add the following to your diaries if you can:

  • 10.00am to mid-day on Saturday 8th of April – traditional, Easter egg hunt in the Wild Wood.
  • 7.00pm on Wednesday 5th July – AGM in the story telling circle in the Wild Wood.
  • 5pm on Saturday 15th July – Pizza Night in the Wild Wood.
  • Moth count in August – date & time to be advised.
  • 9th September – a bat walk – date & time to be advised.
  • Mowing and raking event – September – date & time to be advised.
  • 4pm on Saturday 28th October – Pumpkin Trail event in the Wild Wood hopefully with a story teller.
  • Planting more whips and trees in the Jubilee Wood – November – date & time to be advised.

This programme gives some idea about how the woods are contributing to quality of life in Walsham le Willows for residents and as a haven for bio-diversity.

If you are interested in sponsoring tree planting as a personal memorial then please do make contact and the group will plan this for the next planting season.

John Stebbing Secretary to the Steering Group | 07831 325610 |

Walsham le Willows Play Park Celebration

Free ice cream, a big playtime and family and friends meet up

All welcome on Saturday April 22nd at 10:30-11:30

Our village play park has undergone a major upgrade with lots of new climbing and play equipment to keep all the children in the village active and happy. The Parish Council, led by Councillor Brian Kinnair, have organised the improvements and are pleased to invite you to this celebration event.

At the celebration daye the Parish Council will unveil the new signage designed by pupils from Walsham Primary School to celebrate this achievement and acknowledge the financial support received to make the project happen.

This event will follow a Spring working party day on March 18th to generally tidy up the older equipment and the site.

IMPORTANT new voter ID requirements

On Thursday 4 May 2023, local elections are taking place across England.

At these elections, you will need to bring photo ID to be able to vote at a polling station.

This booklet will explain which forms of photo ID you can use to vote.

It also explains how to apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, if you need one. Read or download below.

VCFSE Resilience Fund

babergh and mid suffolk district council banner

The VCFSE Resilience Fund will support the existing activities of grassroots to medium-sized voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) organisations within Babergh and Mid Suffolk to help sustain organisations that support vulnerable communities of people that are finding it difficult to cope with the cost-of-living crisis. 

New project activities are not required. This funding aims to help support organisations that are themselves finding it tough to keep operating.  Any typical organisation core costs can be included in the grant application, e.g. salaries, expenses, overheads, consumables, equipment, administration, training, communications, etc.

Up to £5,000 can be applied for, and the application deadline is midnight on Sunday 26th February 2023. We aim to award approved funding by Friday 17th March 2023 and all Grants awarded must be fully spent by 30th September 2023. 

Home Library Service

If you struggle to get to the library, perhaps because they have a disability or mobility issues The Home Library service is there for you. It is run by volunteers who pick up books, audio books or DVDs from the library and bring them to you in your own home. Volunteers have to operate within COVID guidance to keep everyone safe. All ur volunteers have been through an application, reference and DBS checking process and a training programme.

If you or a relative would benefit from the service, you can contact your local library who can pass the details onto their volunteers or you can also email or call 01473 351249 (during normal office hours).

Home energy advice service

The aim of this service is to support householders with free advice on energy. Free, impartial advice to help if you are considering investing in renewable energy for your home and/or want advice on how to insulate your home properly.

This service has helped over 40 householders with advice on practical measures to improve their home insulation and also more detailed advice on renewables such as solar panels and heat pumps. The service can support another 60 householders before the end of March 2023.

All householders have to do is to call on 01473 350370 to go through some simple questions about their home or complete the home audit checklist here:

Road Closure Hunston

Highways will carry out pre surface dressing road repairs along U5942 Mill Lane and U5942 The Green, Hunston.

Planned between 6 and 14 February 2023.

The roads will be closed for the duration to ensure that works can be dafely carried out.

Traffic will be diverted via The Street, Westley Way, Hunston, Westley Way, Great Ashfield, Main Road, Elmswell Road, Norton Road and vice versa.

More Anglian Water works, The Causeway

From the end of February Anglian Water will be carrying out essential works on the Badwell Road to the 285 meter section between the Four Ashes corner and the end of the 30mph zone (apart from access to properties). Access to these properties will obviously be maintained for residents. Anglian Water is liaising with the residents whose access to their properties is directly affected.

This will be a complete closure for four weeks.

Download the map of the diversion route below.

Near Misses on Palmer Street?

Have you ever experienced a ‘near miss’ while walking or jogging or cycling on  Palmer  Street ?

Lots of people in Walsham like to walk or jog around the village, often with their dog or while pushing a buggy.  If you are one of those people you probably appreciate that the most dangerous part of your route is likely to be that narrow section of Palmer Street with the blind bends and the high hedge near to Grove Cottage.

The Parish Council would like to make another attempt to cajole SCC Highways into installing a proper pavement along this section of the road.  It will help if we had a record of the ‘near misses’ that people have experienced.  If you have been, or are involved in any such incident could you please email a record of this, including your name, the date and time and nature of the incident, and if possible the number or a description of any vehicle involved to:

Warm Homes Suffolk

The second Warm Homes Suffolk campaign has gone live. With with cost of living and energy crises, it’s more important than ever to ensure that residents who qualify for help to improve the quality of their homes, access the support they are eligible for. Through the scheme, homeowners with an household income of under £30,000 are entitled to appropriate forms of insulation e.g external wall, internal wall, replacing single glazing and fitting air source heat pumps. Over 90 households received support through the first campaign and we would like to beat that this time round.

Further information – click on this link

Pavement Sweeper required by Parish Council

The Parish Council are looking for a person who wants to make a difference to how Walsham le Willows looks.

The successful candidate will work a two-month probation period and will be required to demonstrate the difference they make to the appearance of the village pavements.

The role involves picking up litter, leaves twigs etc and sweeping the full width of the pavements, removing weeds etc and taking all the arisings to the refuse bins to be emptied by MSDC. Litter picking and disposal in the Play Area is also part of the role.

All equipment required will be supplied. 

Applicants will preferably live within the Walsham le Willows village boundary or otherwise locally; other applicants may be considered. 

The successful candidate will be working on their own, need to be physically fit and methodical, with an ability to use own initiative.  Good timekeeping is essential.  Hours are 5.25 hours per week to be worked, weather permitting, to a regular schedule. Overtime can only be worked with the agreement of the Parish Clerk.

Following confirmation in the role, benefits include 5.6 weeks per annum (pro rata) statutory paid leave and statutory sick pay.  The current rate for the role is £9.50 per hour, reviewed annually.  

There is also a contributory workplace pension scheme subject to meeting statutory requirements. 

APPLICATIONS: Please send a CV including details of why this job would be suitable for you by 26th October 2022 5pm to the or by post to The Parish Clerk, c/o Willow Cottage, The Street, Walsham le Willows, Bury St Edmunds IP31 3AA.

No tracking or advertising cookies are placed, only cookies required for proper functionality. By continuing you agree their use. Find out more. ☒ OK
SideMenu Skip to content