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SNL June 2017 Final web

In Touch With Your Town

In Touch With Your Town The section ‘In Touch with your Town’ is usually put together by the Town Clerk Richard Bishop or occasionally by the Deputy Town Clerk Claire Smith. It deals with some of the most topical items of the day and the odd item where the Council want to share information with the Town. Skatepark The Skatepark was completed on time and in budget, costing £80,000 our young people have already made good use of the new facility. Some of the comments coming back to the Town Hall are: “Very good, could have been a bit bigger.” “The people who made it, done a good job and it was worth the wait.” “Love it.” “My son loves it, he has been there every day so far since opening.” “This is great, when my mate told me I didn’t believe him, but I have been up there ever since it’s been open.” “A nice built park, just like a little small fun park though.” “Could add a safety fence to the over side of the park because people could fall off the ramp.” “Bit rough on the vert wall near the top.” There has also been a complaint received on Twitter, along the lines of why has the Council revamped the Skatepark? Complaining that young people are now there all of the time... Two replies were given by the Council “A Skatepark has been in this location for 14 years, this is an improved version.” AND “It is a recreation ground, where else would you have a Skatepark and Play Equipment?” This resulted in the complainant blocking the Town Council… There have been far more good comments than bad, but our main concern in recent week is regarding LITTER, as every morning since the Skatepark was opened the litter being cleared up is now a problem. There was a delay installing a new litter bin and a new seat, in the same timeframe as the Skatepark, but these are now in place. So our plea is to please use the Litter Bin, as we want to hear about the skill and enjoyment of our Skateboarders, our BMX bike riders and those who use their Scooter on the new facilities, not about the litter they leave behind… MUGA installation The contractor had a delayed start by two weeks, starting work on Monday 15th May, and all being well we are looking at a completion date of Tuesday 30th May for most of the surfacing work. There will be a further four week delay for all the line markings, which will follow in week commencing 26th June. The Multi-Use-Games-Area will be worth waiting for and will complement the other facilities that we have at the Rec. When all the work is done, and dusted, we have an opening event planned for Wednesday 5th July 4pm – 7pm – there are details of this event 32 elsewhere in the Swaffham Newsletter; as of course both the Skatepark and MUGA will be used before we officially launch the facilities and show them off to the town. We do want to celebrate the fact that we finally have them in place, as this is a project the Town Council (and their community partners) are very proud of. Allotment “Rumours” There is nothing like “the facts” to spoil a good rumour is there? The allotments featured in Neighbourhood Plan discussions recently, which has pushed the rumour mill into overdrive. So, can we say at the outset, there are no plans to sell-off any of the existing allotments. This has come out of a Neighbourhood Plan Topic Group discussion, where an idea of putting together all the sports facilities on a 40-acre site, was mooted. Three sites were discussed, one of them being the allotments at Shouldham Lane, Four Acres Field, Shoemakers Lane. It was a ‘What if we do this?’ discussion, the type of discussion that is happening in respect of the whole town. It hasn’t got as far as concluding whether it is a good idea or not, let alone being included in a Neighbourhood Plan. The Plan itself is not yet in draft and the draft document when ready must go through several stages including an independent examination, before it is voted on at a Town referendum. The only reason it was looked at, was because it was suggested that it may be easier to move allotments to a different site, than it could be to create sports and leisure facilities on a different site. Again though, this idea or concept, has not been agreed as a good or bad idea, simply an option to be considered. The Sports and Leisure Groups themselves have to establish the desire to combine their facilities, before we get to agreeing which site is the better option. There also should be discussions with the land owners, who may disagree or refuse point blank, so there are many more discussions to be had, before the bare bones of any ideas, formulate into draft policies. Reports therefore of allotment holders being told not to do anything with their plot as the land is being sold next year, are so far wide of the mark… The Allotment Land is not for sale. The fact is that we do hope to have a Draft Neighbourhood Plan next year, so there may be a referendum, but at this moment it time, not one word of that document has been written, not one policy has been agreed, nothing has been ruled in or ruled out. The public will be informed of the policies as they emerge from the five topic groups and they will have a chance to ‘have their say’ on more than one occasion. So, please get involved in the discussion. There may be some confusion caused by the unfortunate timing of former allotment land at Days Field in New Sporle

Road, currently being offered for sale. The Town Council declared this land and a site at Shoulder of Mutton, as surplus allotment land back in January 2007 (over 10 years ago), and this was confirmed by the Secretary of State in January 2008. The Shoulder of Mutton was subsequently sold, but Days Field has been the subject of an outline planning application for 51 houses, and this may be sold later this year or early next year. Swaffham Neighbourhod Plan The Neighbourhood Plan is an important part of the planning system. Currently Swaffham does not have a Neighbourhood Plan, so our Planning Authority Breckland Council only have their ‘Local Plan’ which is a guidance document that applies to the Breckland District. A Neighbourhood Plan when agreed, will only apply to the Town of Swaffham. It is a document which sets out the needs and plans for the town until 2036, almost a futuristic document. A Neighbourhood Plan has to comply with Breckland’s Local Plan, but it can go into more detail, add to and complement the Local Plan. We have five Topic Groups: Education & Young People, Business & Employment, Health & Community Services, Open Spaces, Sports & Leisure, Town Centre, Visitors & Heritage These Groups give an opportunity for local people to get involved to ensure that the place they live in and love gets the right kind of development that reflects the priorities of the area. Because the Neighbourhood Plan is an important document with real legal force we have to get through certain formalities. This does involve employing consultants to write the document, paying for this is done by grant applications. To date we have received £7,750 and have applications in for a similar amount to keep the process going. There has been a very positive response from the town to join these groups which meet informally and formally once a month, collecting data, producing evidence and ideas. Every month reports are given to the Planning Committee who act as the Steering Group for the Neighbourhood Plan. We expect the groups to overlap and share information. We very much welcome more people to come on board with this rather mammoth task, anybody interested to please contact the council. There will be consultation with the public along the way. You can follow our progress as all details are on the Town Council website, we have a Facebook Page and a Twitter page on Social Media. Eventually when everything is formulated and documented this will be presented to the town as a Referendum some time next year, we need 51% of those who vote to support the plan, then it will sit alongside our Local Plan as part of the statutory planning system, that our planning authority has to take account of right up to 2036. 33 The Town Council Mayor – Cllr Paul Darby 07880 568 628 Deputy Mayor – Cllr Jill Skinner 01760 336121 Cllr Steven Allen Cllr Terry Jennison 07825 801 605 01760 720608 Cllr Robert Bartram Cllr Sheila Lister 01760 721 022 01760 720114 Cllr Wendy Bensley Cllr Shirley Matthews 01760 722 524 01760 723205 Cllr Brenda Bowler Cllr Les Scott 01760 788519 01760 720465 Cllr Jan Buckley-Stevens Cll Anne Thorp 01760 722604 01760 722611 Cllr Colin Houghton 01760 336 025 Breckland Councillors: Cllr Paul Darby, Cllr Shirley Matthews and Cllr Ian Sherwood 01760 725550 twitter@ CllrIanSherwood ( Your County Councillor is Cllr Paul Smyth 07733 431358 / email Officers Richard Bishop – Town Clerk Twitter - @SwaffhamClerk Claire Smith - Deputy Town Clerk Hannah Duggan – Office Administrator Swaffham Town Council Tel: 01760 722922 Town Hall Opening Times Monday 9.30am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday : 9:30am-1pm Town Council Dates Wednesday 14th Full Town Council meeting 6.45 pm - 9.00 pm Monday 19th Market meeting 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm Tuesday 27th Planning Committee 12 noon All at Council Chamber, Town Hall

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