Mayor's blog

Engagements & Activities

This is a time-line of some events I have undertaken. The comments are my informal response and are not the official opinion of Dereham Town Council.

28 February 2015
Model Railway
Model Railway Exhibition
The model railway exhibition was missed last year but today returned to Memorial Hall, having been at Neatherd High School for a few years.

I formally opened the Model Railway exhibition at 10:05, but later received a 'complaint' from a friend who said he was still waiting in the queue to get in and he wanted to hear what I was saying - the event was certainly hugely popular.

Like many children I had a Hornby 'OO' train set, but unlike most I did progress to railway modelling and built an 'N gauge' model which lived on a board under my bed. N-gauge is half the size of 'OO' and because everything is so much smaller it is possible to build quite a complicated layout in a small space. My father came from Bristol, so the books we had at home were generally about the GWR (Great Western Railway), so naturally my model was of a GWR branch-line. As suspected when I mentioned this it was met with theatrical murmuring because of course on this side of the country the railway of choice is the Great Eastern or LNER (London and North Eastern Railway). As with every group there has to be a bit of friendly rivalry!

Bottom left it says "please do not touch" ... that Mayor needs a reprimand (and a hair cut).

26 February 2015
Dereham Business Forum
Dereham business forum Today I was invited to join the second meeting of the as yet untitled business group at the North Tuddenham. Originally, it was envisaged as a network group of small business owners, with the aim to promote Dereham, bring more people and trade to the town.

At this meeting the groups aims were more formally defined and a name chosen "Dereham Business Forum".

24 February 2015
Chaired: Plans meeting
Dereham Town Council Plans
Report to follow after the meeting

Committee meetings followed plans ...

Recreation Committee chaired by Cllr Kate Millbank

Heritage and Open Space chaired by Cllr Philip Duigan

20 February 2015
Footpath status meeting
Dereham Map of 1946 Our footpath warden, Ken Hawkins, can't make the next Heritage and Open Space on Tuesday so we met today to go through some of the issues he has identified throughout Dereham.

Ken has produced a spreadsheet of issues and rated them from red for 'failing legal requirements' to green where 'no action is necessary'. Recall that legal responsibility for footpaths lies with Norfolk county Council and they are nearly bankrupt following the incinerator debacle, however that is not a reason to ignore the red issues around Dereham. Details will be presented to the committee on Tuesday.

17 February 2015
Personnel Committee meeting
Dereham Town Council Personnel Committee is chaired by Cllr Robin Goreham.

As an ordinary Councillor I am not a member the Personnel Committee, however another 'privilege' of the chairman of the Town Council is that they may attend and vote at any committee meeting. Today I am at Robin's committee to consider aspects of Councillor training ahead of the next election and future staffing requirements.

17 February 2015
Lanpro Development
More Dereham Housing Today at Toftwood Social Centre there was a presentation by Lanpro who are proposing to build 300 new homes on land south of Dereham, between Yaxham Road and A1075 Shipdam Road. This appears to be another development taking advantage of the lack of a 5-year housing supply in Breckland to push development into a previously rejected area.

Ignoring some very serious infrastructure problems let me first say that as housing development goes this is one of best I have seen. However, the same issues exist as with the Hopkins Homes development at Dumpling Green and there seems to be little or no consideration for the road congestion (if it wasn't so serious one might think the plan to exit onto the single carriageway hump-back bridge at Westfield Lane to be part of a TV comedy). Nor is there mention of schools places, doctors surgery capacity, and the myriad of other integral parts of community infrastructure - did I mention JOBS!

10 February 2015
Chaired: Plans meeting & Full Council meeting
Dereham Town Council Plans
Report to follow

Full Council
Centenary remembrance: none
Report to follow after Tuesday's meeting.