Parish Councillor Vacancy

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.

Continue reading “Parish Councillor Vacancy”

Sale Trail

Sunday 1st August from 10am

Sell goods from the comfort of your doorstep. Or book a pitch at the Village Hall.

Refreshments will beavailable at the Village Hall along with a map of the selling sites.

£5 per household

To book your place email: or call 01359 259519

Parish Council Seeks Your Suggestions for Projects


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:

  • public transport infrastructure
  • schools
  • open spaces
  • health centres (infrastructure)

The Wattisifeld Road development has generated Neighbourhood CIL funding of £40k so far and is expected to generate another £60k.  The Parish Council seeks your views as to how these funds should be used. Please send in comments and ideas by 31st August by post to the Clerk’s address, via this website, via the community hub facebook page or directly to the Clerk:

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:

  • Cycle Paths
  • 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.
  • Upgrading of informal footpaths to Sports Club
  • You may have other ideas, please let us know.

AGM for members Sunday 4th July 2021 at 14.30 at Sports Ground

Open invitation to all from 15.30

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 Trustees

Keep Your Medical Records Confidential

It’s your choice, or it should be…

GP Opt Out Form (Type 1)
NHS Opt Out (Type 2 – ‘manage your choice’)

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?

Back in July 2017 the Information Commissioers Office ruled that London’s Royal Free hospital failed to comply with the Data Protection Act when it handed over personal data of 1.6 million patients to DeepMind.

Financial Times article – May 26th 2021 gives more background on the this most recent attempt. As does this Forbes article December 2019 and this Guardian Article 30th May 2021.

medConfidential guides you through how to stop your medical records being scraped on 23rd June 2021. The process is u nnecessarilycomplicated by the fact that you have to do two opt outs one with NHS Digital and the other with your GP. Last time it was all done with one form.

Who are MedConfidential?

Community Council – Annual General Meeting

All village residents are invited to attend the
Annual General Meeting
The Walsham le Willows Community Council (charity number 278321)
Memorial Hall Walsham le Willows (charity number 304950)
Date: Friday 25th June 2021
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Memorial Hall Walsham le Willows

Traffic Speed Data – 2021

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.

Data – Excel Format (xlsx) – check your download folder
Finningham Road
The Street

Data – pdf Format (Adobe) – opens in browser
Finningham Road
The Street

Memorial Hall – May 2021 Update

Walsham le Willows Memorial Hall

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.

Public consultation – cycling and walking infrastructure

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.

For more information and context about the consultation, and the links to participate, please visit:

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.  

Open Gardens Weekend – Update May 2021

Image of blue cornflowes in white vase on table loooking through open gate in red brick wall out to The Street beyond

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: or | 01359 259061

Memorial Hall Update – April 2021

Walsham le Willows Memorial Hall

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.

Footpath Closed – Wattisfield Road Development

red triangle roadworks sign with work person in centre

Walsham Le Willows Footpath 006

12 April — 07 May

Delays unlikely – Road closure

Works location: From Wattisfield Road to 100m past the junction with FP 007

Works description: Connections Projects: Installation of a new electricity supply for a customer: Installation of a new HV customer connection

Responsibility for works: UK Power Networks

Current status: Advanced planning

Works reference: EC30081301321

Campaign for Rural England – Goverment forced into u-turn on planning proposals

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.

Continue reading “Campaign for Rural England – Goverment forced into u-turn on planning proposals”

Yoga with Julia at Walsham WildWood

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.

Please contact Julia on

Neighbourhood Plan – Eco Update – April 2021

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.

If you are interested in getting involved or have suggestions please contact or visit our website or find us on Facebook!

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.

The Hive Eco-Forum is a hub for diverse groups including Parish Councils, other nearby Neighbourhood Plan groups, schools, businesses and food growers working together in West Suffolk.

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.

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.

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.

Update on the 40th Open Gardens 2021

Walsham-le-Willows Open Gardens weekend signage

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 or call on 01359 259061.

John Stebbing
Secretary Walsham le Willows Open Gardens Trust

Village Hall Update – April 2021

Walsham le Willows Memorial Hall

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.

Amanda Ellis

Fly-tipping at Memorial Hall reported & punished

An incident of fly tipping at the Walsham le Willows Memorial Village Hall car park in January was reported to Mid Suffolk District Council via their online portal.

Evidence as to who may have been responsible was provided to the Environmental Protection Officer.

A £200 Fixed Penalty Notice was issued to a local resident, and was paid within 10 days so reduced to £120.

Imminent Road Works

red triangle roadworks sign with work person in centre

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 closure   Works 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 closure   Works 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