Parish Council distributes remaining Community Infrastructure Levy funds

Over the period 2021/22 to 2023/24 the Parish Council has received Neighbourhood CIL grants from MSDC totalling £84,507.41. 

CIL is generated by a levy on the developers of new housing to fund improvements to the infrastructure alongside the increased housing.  Neighbourhood CIL is paid to parish councils at a rate of 15% of the available total collected from developers where there is no adopted Neighbourhood Plan.  As we now have and adopted Neighbourhood Plan any future development will generate grants at a rate of 25% for the Parish Council. 

CIL BIDS granted and paid by the Parish CouncilAmount (net of VAT recoverable)
Streetlighting phase iii5,680.31
Churchyard Wall Major Repairs7,478.00
Allotment Shed Repairs1,000.00
Village Sign Replace & Repair247.50
Memorial Hall Stage5,628.25
Wild Wood Platinum, Jubilee Bench (materials)179.81
Professional Kitchen equipment Memorial Hall2,500.00
Play Area Development30,000.00
Surfacing of allotments track1,540.25
Streetlighting phase iv7,979.53
Container for gym equipment at Sports Club8,000.00
Priory Room7,500.00
Memorial Hall Solar Project2,267.00
CIL BIDS granted but still to be paid 
Bowls Club electrical work2,258.00
PCC Path Lighting2,248.76

Flower Power February 2024 update

Work on knitted and crocheted flowers for the church wall for The Open Gardens Weekend, continues apace by a large and enthusiasic team of volunteers from WLW and surrounding villages.

Crochet is a series of loops worked with a single hook in one hand and yarn tensioned over the middle finger of the other.  Knitting is done on two needles with transference of stiches from one to the other through a series of rows.

The organiser’s grandmother learnt from her mother who was an expert crocheter and made lace using the finest of hooks and cotton thread. Older folks can probably recall those doilies and runners that graced tables back in the day. Modern crochet techniques have evolved with the use of thicker yarn and larger hooks. 

Younger learners in the group (age range 17-94) have taught themselves to knit and crochet using You Tube and social media.

Recent media articles have flagged up knitting and crochet as valuable techniques in reducing stress and anxiety. They are meditaive pursuits currently being trialled by the medical profession along with other stress busters such as gardening, as useful therapies in addressing mental health issues for all genders.

Each flower that created represents an hour or so of work. 400 flowers have so far been added to a sample 2m piece which many saw displayed at the 2023 christmas fayre.

700 flowers have yet to be tied on with 130m of perimeter wall to complete. The group are planning some summer “Pimm’s and tying on” garden parties for which anyone can volunteer, even if not skilled in knit or crochet.

A second coffee, flower making morning at the Blue Boar was very successful and well attended. Beginners were given a crochet tutorial. It was very relaxed, friendly and a good time was had by all.

Dates for your Diary

05.03.24  10.30-12.30 Walsham Sports Club Flower Power Project meet up with hooks and needles.

Organiser | | 07966 550753    

East Anglian Traditional Music Trust Event

EATMT are a charity funded by Suffolk County Council’s Locality Budget. Ever wondered about what went on in East Anglia before the delights of digital screen entertainment? The Trust collect, archive and perform music, song, dance, and stories which have been passed down through generations.

The group held a very successful afternoon of entertainment in Walsham le Willows Memorial Hall last year and are back again for 2024 on March 24th with entertainment which will include Suffolk and Norfolk step dancers, tales told in dialect, and music and songs from a variety of musicians. Jig dolls will be on display too and anyone will be able to have a go at making them dance.

An informal occasion to sit back and enjoy the entertainment but if you have a story to tell or wish to sing or play please see the compere on entry to be included.

Doors will open at 13:30, get a cuppa and a piece of cake, take a seat for the start at 14:00 through until 16:00. Entry is free, although any donations will be gratefully accepted.

There will be a raffle and a small charge for teas, coffees and cakes.

Contact Jan Robinson on 07539 651 175 or visit the EATMT website

Annual Parish Council Question Time – 2024

Monday 11th March 2024
from 6.30 pm until 8.30pm
in the Memorial Hall

Informal ‘Question Time’ format following last year’s successful event.
Everyone welcome.

Make your questions, ideas and views known to Parish, District and County Councillors as well as other members of your community.

Hear about the work of the Parish Council & progress on 2023/24 priorities.

Inform the deliberations of Parish Councillors on priorities for 2024/25.

Submit questions in advance to the Parish Clerk

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Asian Hornet Watch – Report it!

Stowmarket and District Beekeepers Association are asking for help to combat the invasive Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina), also known as the Yellow-legged Hornet. It is a voracious predator and will eat nectar, wasps, bees, flies, butterflies, spiders, caterpillars, fallen fruit and carrion. They are such efficient hunters that they will completely suppress all insects within 1km of their nest. Sadly, honeybees are a favourite prey and they will devastate an apiary if they find one. Not surprisingly beekeepers are keen to repel these invaders but you can do your bit to help our native insects which are at risk.

If they can be identified now, they can be eliminated to prevent them gaining a foothold.


Info leaflet

Spring Litter Pick – 2024

The Parish Council are looking for volunteers old and new, to take part in the Spring Litter Pick between 16th – 21st March.

This now takes place across a full week to allow volunteers more flexibility to fit it this in with their own schedules and still be covered by the Parish Council’s insurers.

Two councillors will hand out equipment as needed on Saturday 16th at the Memorial Hall.

Please contact the Parish Clerk,  | 01359 259 794, to register if you can take part again or would like to take part for the first time. Insurance cover only applies to those who have registered and confirmed they have read the guidelines and risk assessment.

Flower Power Project

February 2024 Update

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Can you knit or crochet? Would you like to be part of a historical community event? The Flower Power Project is a not-for-profit community of around sixty-five friendly knit and crochet volunteers aged between 16 and 94 years old, from the village and further afield, who have joined together to create a knitted and crocheted textile tableaux of joyous, colourful amassed flowers to adorn the outward facing wall of St Mary’s Churchyard for the “Gardens” weekend. Starting at the Priory rooms the work will flow along the wall and around its perimeter.

700 beautiful and diverse flowers have already been made and the goal is several thousand pieces. The group is working in collaboration with Walsham Open Gardens Weekend 2024. Visitors to the 2024 gardens weekend will see the installation as they leave the car park as a welcome and a prelude to this successful and much-loved event.

There are no particular flower patterns to follow so you are free to select your own; any yarn or size and the brighter the better! It’s a great way of using up your yarn ends and a cosy fireside project for the winter months. Your enthusiasm, creativity and ingenuity will dictate the outcome. The Facebook Group Page is “The Flower Power Project. Local drop off points have been set up for contributions and a yarn donation/swap initiative, plus a series of social events planned for members.

Not on facebook? Get involved by emailing to add your name to our e-bulletin list for regular project updates.

Dementia Friends

The Dementia Friends sessions are run by volunteer ambassadors and staff with Dementia Connect, run by the Suffolk branch of the Alzheimer’s Society. These sessions are a free method of promoting dementia awareness. They are asking you interested people and/or community groups consider either hosting a session, finding out more about Dementia Connect as a service, or in attending a session already planned.

Why is it important?

In rural and urban communities the population continues to age, meaning many more people are living longer and in their homes within their communities.  Awareness building and opportunities within communities to support residents to benefit from increased levels of health, wellbeing, and access to the right services are vital.

Dementia Connect

The ‘Dementia Friends’ initiative invites people of any age to attend a single awareness session, where they will learn about dementia and more understanding of how living with dementia can affect a person. Attendees will gain ‘Dementia Friends’ status, by committing to helping people in their community in taking positive actions. For example, a Dementia Friend promises to be patient and kind when interacting with an individual with dementia. Hosting ‘Dementia Friends’ awareness sessions, will help to improve accessibility and care provision for those living with dementia, helping residents to feel supported in their community. Dementia Connect provides a free personalised dementia support service through in-person contact, telephone calls and online support and can be contacted via email or telephone:

0333 150 3456 |

If you or anyone you know may be interested in hosting or attending a free Dementia Friends session, or you would like to find out more please contact Dementia Connect directly. 

“I became a Dementia Friend because in the community I’m from, not many people are aware of dementia. It helps people with dementia because they might feel more comfortable knowing that I’m more aware of dementia and help them if they need it.”

Is 20 Plenty for Suffolk?

The quantity and speed of traffic using our residential village streets and surrounding rural lanes is a key concern of local villagers. Moreover, the traffic impact of the proposed Shepherd’s Grove developments,likely to include large scale warehousing and the like, will potentially exacerbate this problem for our community and those of neighbouring villages. The A143 is not suitable in many places for the levels and type of traffic anticipated and it is almost inevitable that this will also hugely impact traffic levels on local roads.

The village currently has an area outside the school on Wattisfield Road where 20mph is the advised speed limit and we are keen to know your views on traffic and in particular if there are other areas of the village that would benefit from lower speed limits or other traffic calming options.

There are quite a few reasons for promoting the 20mph speed limit but these are the key ones:

  • Encourages walking and cycling
  • Fewer casualties and collisions
  • Less air and noise pollution
  • Lower costs

In our particular circumstances, we also think that if the routes through our village become slower for through traffic it could make them less attractive to excessive traffic volumes created by the proposed developments.

Any implementation of 20mph would be building on the established understanding that slower speeds are right for most built up roads. The new Highway Code (Hierarchy of the Road Amendments), reinforces this message by prioritising pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders over cars, vans and buses.

The centre-fold of the October 2023 Observer contained a short survey designed to gather the opinions of those living, going to school or working in and around the village. Responses were collated into a report which you can read here.

To find our more, please visit the website: ​​

Common Misconceptions

“…Drivers don’t obey 30 mph road restrictions and won’t obey 20mph”

Studies have shown that average and faster road speeds do decrease over time as a new culture of awareness and compliance develops. This happens when drivers believe that other drivers are driving slower.

Portsmouth carried out one of the first case studies which monitored the effects of  20mph speed limits. The results showed that speeds were down by 6.3 mph overall and the average speed was 24 mph.  Drivers will adapt, as they did when drink-driving became illegal.

…A 20mph upper speed limit is negative to the local economy.”

Businesses thrive where it is safe to cycle and walk. Fuel costs drop and tourists and visitors love 20mph.

“…Reducing the speed limit in W.L.W. won’t have any appreciable effect on traffic pollution and air quality.”

Pollution reduces at slower speeds, particularly from diesel engines. There is less accelerating and braking which reduces brake and tyre particulates. The organisation NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) recommends 20mph without speed humps for better air quality, lower noise levels, vibration and road wear.

Walsham le Willows Parish Council

Our Neighbourhood Plan – The referendum

The Walsham le Willows Neighbourhood Plan is now in the very final stages of its development, and has been independently examined. Amendments to the Plan are currently being made.

The last step will be to hold a Referendum, where all registered electors in the parish will have the opportunity to vote, either to accept or to reject the Neighbourhood Plan.  It is important that the community use this opportunity, as it is the outcome of the referendum which will decide if the Neighbourhood Plan is adopted by Mid Suffolk District Council.  Watch this space for a referendum date.

Richard Belson
Chair of Parish Council

Banner by Evie Howes


Common Ground theatre’s autumn tour is perfect for those spooky October evenings.

They’ll be performing at the Walsham Le Willows Memorial Hall, on Thursday 12th October, 7.30pm.

This year’s autumn tour is THE HELLGATE CLUB, a gothic murder mystery set in “Belle Epoque” Paris, with live music in the cabaret style of the period.

A series of strange happenings have the authorities baffled. Several men have disappeared under mysterious circumstances, with no connection between them other than that they were last seen in the vicinity of the notorious Pigalle district. With no leads, the police ask retired detective, Jean Tellier (played by Julian Harries) to take one last case. Sensing danger around every street corner, in every dimly lit café, in every dark doorway, Tellier begins by interviewing the proprietors and staff of the local bars and nightclubs, including the notorious Hellgate Club.

Continue reading “THE HELLGATE CLUB”

Pride of Place – August 2023 Litter Pick

Can You Play a Part in Caring for our Village?

With Gardens Weekend in mind, Walsham Parish Council are planning their usual summer litter pick and are hoping to add to the team of volunteers to share this task.

The summer litter pick will take place from August 7th to 13th so that volunteers can choose a time that suits them with all the rubbish collected to be taken by MSDC refuse lorry before our village hosts our BIG weekend.

All we ask is that you contact the Parish Clerk as soon as possible so that we can register your offer of help, allocate you an area close to your home, arrange equipment sharing and tell you about the details of health and safety requirements.

If interested please email the Parish Clerk:

Grant and Funding Opportunities – June 2023

Magic Little Grants – localgiving & People’s Postcode Lottery
After successfully distributing £500 grants to 2,650 charitable organisations in 2022, applications are now open for 2023. The deadline for applications is 31st October 2023. With a simple 20-minute application process for a £500 grant and an outcome within six weeks, the Magic Little Grants fund reduces the work required for grass-roots organisations to access the funding they need to launch or strengthen their services. The following criteria apply: Organisations must either be in their first year of operation or have an annual income under £250,000. Funding can be used to launch new projects, support existing ones, or cover core costs associated with ongoing work. Organisations and the projects for which they apply must be located within England, Scotland, or Wales, Please note that schools are eligible to apply if they are a registered charity. Groups may only apply once in 2023 for a grant. Magic Little Grants | Localgiving  
Project Cost and Core Cost grants – BBC Children in Need   Children in Need often have several funding programmes open at any one time. These include:
Children in Need often have several funding programmes open at any one time. These include: Project Costs grants – support the aims and delivery of a specific piece of work. This work will usually be time-limited and based on a defined set of activities.
Core Costs grants – can be spent on an organisation’s central running and operational costs.
Charities and not-for-profit organisations can apply for these grants for up to three years. They aim to give quicker decisions for grants of £15,000 or less per year. There is no application deadline. Apply For A Grant – BBC Children in Need  
Grants for Heritage – National Lottery Heritage Fund   The National Lottery Heritage Fund provide different levels of 
of funding to heritage of all shapes and sizes. Their grants range from £3,000 up to millions of pounds. Current programmes include National Lottery Grants for Heritage – £3,000 to £10,000; £10,000 to £250,000; £250,000 to £5 million. The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic means the Fund will prioritise heritage projects that: promote inclusion and involve a wider range of people (a mandatory outcome) boost the local economy encourage skills development and job creation support wellbeing create better places to live, work and visit improve the resilience of organisations working in heritage Full information on all National Lottery Heritage Fund programmes is available on their website. Welcome | The National Lottery Heritage Fund    

Annual Parish Council Question Time – 2023

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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 |

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