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County Council Elections 4 May 2017

The County Council elections are taking place on 4 May 2017.  You must be registered to vote by 13 April.  If you’re not already registered it’s quick and easy to do so, please visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.  If you would like to apply for a postal vote you must do this by 5pm on 18 April. Please visit www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/forthcoming-elections to apply for  postal vote and for further details on the elections.

 

EC England A4 Posters1

ALL HALLOWS EVE

 

‘Then cometh November when the days be very short and the sun giveth but little heat, and the trees lose their leaves, the fields that were green look hoary and grey. Then all manner of herbs are hid in the ground, and there appeareth no flower, and winter is come, and man hath understanding of age and hath lost his kindly heat and strength.’

Hallowe’en and a ghost walks with me as she always did when I went outside, I can see her in my mind’s eye, leaving her mousing and, tail held high, coming to join me. A Cutty Wren with eyes dark as ripe blackberry pips watches me and the ghost who walks with me, she sees more than most, wren knows who comes and who goes. She sings, practising her Boxing Day song and I sing with her,

‘Love, joy and peace to all in this house.’

Then, secret as a thought and nimble as nine pence she retreats deep into a tangle of rambling rose and hop vines to join a bright brotherhood of small birds, I cannot see them but I hear them and their quiet gossiping makes it sound as if it is the tangle of roses and hops that are singing. The Cutty Wren is the bird of the Virgin Mary and tradition says this little bird nested in the manger with the Child.

Then said the wren

I am called the hen

Of Our Lady most comely

Then of her Son

My notes shall run

For love of that Lady.

With a loud buzzing, a cheerful resistance to the shortening days, bombus flys very close by, off to the last party of the year held where the ivy is in flower. While leaves of ash, field maple and hawthorn now burn with a cold fire the oak trees determinedly keep their green foliage. The poplars at the far end of the meadow have lost most of their leaves and look like skeletons of fish. The remaining leaves on the bird cherries hang by limp necks and they too will soon be gone and the trees will be as bare as picked bones. The leaves on the trees that have red cherries turn yellow and then fall to butter the ground. They stay quite flat until age creases and crimps them. One tree only has black cherries. The leaves on this tree do not turn yellow, first they blush and then fall to turn a deep reddy orange and almost at once each edge starts to roll inwards to show beer brown backs and they come to resemble fat cigars.

This is the time of the year when plants withdraw life but life for some life now begins underground. Fungi emerge, some with moon white heads, hairless and eyeless. There are several colonies of different fungi on the meadow, some already mouse nibbled and crow pecked. One lonely one took my eye and it was so beautiful I knelt to look closely. The stem was about a couple of inches in height and spindly. The domed cap has turned itself inside out, it was translucent, delicate, more like thumbed glass and the rim was frosted. It was just like a wineglass but a wineglass for a doll. R. S. Thomas, that stern Anglican priest, wrote that the aim of life is to be ready to receive ephemeral moments like this.

Back home we go and I open the door and wait for the ghost who has walked with me to go through first.

Pat Mlejnecky

Smartphone photos

It seems that recently our mobile phones have become as good at taking photos as making phone calls.

In fact some might say that they are more adept at the photos than the phone calls; and I’d count myself in that number.

The photos below were taken by old second hand phones in bergh apton in the last few weeks.

grass snake
Snake in the grass

 

 

dead dragon fly
Nature – red in tooth and claw

If you have taken a picture of wildlife in the area – please feel free to share it here.

 

A Marbled Orb Weaver Spider
A Marbled Orb Weaver Spider

Parish Council Report – September 2016

Key Issues

Devolution, Buses & Ash Dieback

Highlights from Ipsos- MORI Residents Consultation

  • 53% supported the principle of devolution while 16% expressed they opposed this.
  • There was strong support for more decisions to be taken locally across a range of issues with a new housing strategy (82%), development of new homes (75%), creating a transport plan (77%) and road maintenance (85%) being the top 4.
  • There was 52% support for a Mayor and 58% support for councils to come together as a Combined Authority. 29% opposed election of a Mayor and 25% opposed establishing a Combined Authority.

Highlights from Online Consultation

  • 50.9% supported the principle of devolution while 38.7% expresses they opposed this.
  • There was a strong support for more decisions to be taken locally across a range of issues with most support being shown for roads maintenance (74.6%), developing a new housing strategy (71%), development of new homes (69.7%) and creating a transport plan (65%)
  • There was 26.7% support for a Mayor and 34.9% support for councils to come together as a Combined Authority

Views of Businesses

Highlights from Ipsos- MORI Business Consultation 250 businesses of various sizes across the two counties were also surveyed by Mori:

  • 54% supported the principle of devolution while 12% expressed they opposed this.
  • Strong support for more decisions to be taken locally across a range of issues with decisions relating to road maintenance funding coming out on top.
  • 59%supported councils joining together as a Combined Authority and 47% supportive of a mayor, with 27% opposed.

Letters of support from business and the wider public and voluntary sector’s Business leaders with interests in Norfolk and Suffolk and leaders from the wider public and voluntary sector communities sent letters supporting devolution. Over 80 organisations endorsed a letter from the Norfolk and Suffolk Chambers and the LEP to Dr Andy Wood, the independent chair of the East Anglia Leaders’ Group, endorsing the devolution proposals as supporting the delivery of crucial projects to support economic growth, improve infrastructure and empowering the next generation with the skills to drive the economy. Many letters of support were received from the wider public sector and the voluntary sector including a number of higher education establishments, the University of East Anglia, the University of Suffolk, Clinical Commissioning groups, Visit East Anglia and Community Action Norfolk.

Overall the consultation showed a strong desire to go ahead with devolution and I suspect that my Norfolk County Council group and South Norfolk Council will support the proposal to continue the process.

Buses

I have received numerous complaints about the revised bus services particularly into the Poringland hub where users need to change buses. School transport has also come under scrutiny particularly through Thurton.

I have passed all the concerns onto the relevant officer and as you are no doubt aware the contact for the service buses id Daniel Yellop at: daniel.yellop@Norfolk.gov.uk

Boundary Review

The draft proposals have been submitted for the revised District Wards increasing the number of electors per Councillor to +-2556 (with up to a 10% variance) from 2165 for implementation at the 2019 elections.

Detail of the proposed boundary changes can be found on the South Norfolk Website at:

http://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/CARMS/meetings/earc2016-08-30reports.pdf

Some of the proposal are listed below:

Chedgrave (includes Chedgrave, Langley with Hardley, Geldeston, Hales with Heckingham, Raveningham, Stockton, Norton Subcourse) 2,532 1 2,532 -1%

Similarly to the proposed Thurlton Ward, this ward has strong links to the Broads tourist area. The communities are linked by their association with the A146, the main road linking Norwich, Loddon and down to Beccles. Sharing a strong small, rural identity, these parishes share many similar challenges. Includes joint parish council Hales with Heckingham – this will be the former Chedgrave and Thurton Ward combined with parts of the former Gillingham Ward

Loddon will remain unchanged.

Brooke (includes Bergh Apton, Brooke, Kirstead, Mundham, Seething, Alpington with Yelverton) 2,707 1 2,707 6% This ward consists of a cluster of rural villages lying to the East of the A146, which will experience smaller scale growth. Includes joint Parish Council Alpington with Yelverton.

This takes Alpington and Yelverton from the Rockland Ward.

Rockland (includes Ashby St Mary, Carleton St Peter, Claxton, Thurton, Bramerton, Rockland St Mary with Hellington, Holverston, Rockland St Mary with Hellington, Surlingham) 2,630 1 2,630 3% This group of Parishes lie to the North of the District, and are primarily smaller villages which border the Broads Authority, with many connecting waterways. The Parishes also share a connection through the Thurton Group Benefice of 11 ecclesiastical parishes.

Includes joint Parish Council Rockland St Mary with Hellington. This now includes Thurton and Claxton from the former Chedgrave and Thurton Ward.

Communities and Environment Councillors to consider ash dieback disease

Members will consider measures which will allow the county council to effectively manage the implications of Chalara which is already affecting trees in Norfolk. These measures could include seeking financial support from Defra, and looking at how the county council can work with landowners to minimise costs to the authority Norfolk was one of the first areas in the country where Chalara was identified and councillors will hear how Norfolk is leading the way nationally in work to tackle the problem.

Details of our methodology and early survey results were well received at the national Ash Dieback Safety Intervention Meeting organised by Defra, and national body the Tree Council, are now keen to share our methodology with other authorities in the country. The County Council has a responsibility to maintain the public highway and require owners of private trees to make safe dangerous trees in the interests of public safety. The current three year plan of work, will allow the county council to identify and assess the condition of ash trees adjacent to the County’s 6000 miles of roads and footpaths.

Your local Mobile Library Service

Mobile libraries are free to join and are open to people of all ages.  Items can be chosen from the vehicle or reserved via the online catalogue for collection from a mobile library. They can be returned to any branch library or mobile library in Norfolk.  All mobile libraries are equipped with a lift for people with mobility problems and wheelchair users.

Our mobile libraries offer:

  • Fiction books for adults and children (book request: adults – 60p, children – free)
  • Non-fiction books for adults and children (subject requests are free)
  • Large print books (book request 60p)
  • DVDs for adults and children (a small charge applies)
  • Audio books on CD and tape (tapes – free, a small charge applies for CDs for adults, children – free)
  • Jigsaw puzzles (free)

The mobile library service offers an e-mail reminder system to advise mobile library users that the mobile library will be in their area within the next two days.  If you wish to be added to the mailing lists, please ask your mobile library driver for the green e-mail slip to complete or alternatively contact us direct with your name, e-mail address and mobile library route number.

The mobile library service is keen to recruit more ‘Mobile Library Friends’ – volunteers who help us to promote the service by doing any of the following:

  • telling their friends/neighbours about the mobile library
  • delivering fliers locally
  • putting up posters
  • suggesting improvements/alternative stops.

If you are interested, please speak to the mobile library driver or contact us direct.

To check the mobile library timetables for your area, please click on the link: www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries-local-history-and-archives/libraries/your-local-library/routes-and-timetables and choose your village from the list.

More information is available on the Norfolk County Council website: www.norfolk.gov.uk  (search ‘mobile libraries’), or contact the mobile library office on 01603 222303 or e-mail: central.mobiles.lib@norfolk.gov.uk .

Library Schedule