<<Tidings, June 2019>>

Annual Parish Meeting
followed by Annual Parish Council Meeting

(The following notes are a summary: for full minutes, see the Loddon Road bus shelter noticeboard and The Boundaries’ noticeboard)

Gillingham Village Hall, Wednesday, 8 May 2019

  1. Minutes of last Annual Parish Meeting read and approved
  2. Parish Council Chairman’s Annual Report

Playground – This year has not been a success for the playground. The equipment remains fit for purpose, but the inspection team highlighted certain areas as needing action (e.g. removal of the ropes hanging from trees and the old football net).

The ground underfoot is uneven due to rabbit scrapings and molehills. Although periodically filled in, they of course, along with bird droppings reappear again very quickly. The fence, now attended to, remains secure but the gate will need replacement in the future.

There is no dedicated committee to take on the upkeep of the playground. The parish council is unable to spend large sums of money on the playground or put in enough physical effort by themselves. They hope that parents will step forward, form a committee and, with council support, take up some responsibility for this valuable amenity.

Village Upkeep – St Mary’s church is now being used regularly by the Romanian Orthodox community and after some initial problems they seem to have settled in.

Despite not having a vicar in the Waveney Benefice at present, a service was held at the War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday 2018 with the help of John Lowrey and several people attended.

The McDonalds restaurant came under new ownership and the present owner is making real efforts to engage with the village and clean up rubbish left from the takeaway service. Antisocial behaviour also seems to have settled down and only the car parking on the roundabout remains an issue.

Buses being stopped and rerouted at short notice and discontinued altogether remain a challenge although the bus company does seem to be better at communicating these times.

This year Cllr Black again organised a couple of litter picks. A special thank you to Trevor Bryer for his continued efforts to keep the rubbish at bay. Thanks, also, to Mrs Easter who has helped keep the bus shelter next to the Village Hall clean and tidy. The riverbank was also subject to clearing of a lot of rubbish left by a boat user.

An ongoing issue is the water collecting outside the new build on Kings Dam. Despite concerted effort by the parish council, county councillor and county council the owner has still not rectified the problem. Efforts continue to get this sorted.

Removing the old notice board at the village hall and relocating it inside the bus shelter was deemed a good move. Unfortunately, it now seems subject to attack by vandals.

The council gave a donation towards the repair of steps leading down to the river at Dunburgh, which had become dangerous.

Planning – This year saw the application for a change of use near Beccles Bridge, turning the old Craft workshop into a restaurant.

The rerouting of a footpath at Waterloo was supported.

General – The precept [annual share of tax funding] provided to the parish council has remained the same for the coming financial year. We continue to do our best to look after the village in the face of cuts at District and County level. It is not necessary to be a councillor to offer help in any areas that need working on (i.e. playground, litter picking, allotments, etc).

In conclusion I wish to extend my thanks to all the councillors, and our Parish Clerk, Julia Punt, for all their hard work throughout the year. Especial thanks to Cllr Jane Black who did not stand for re-election but has offered to continue volunteering where she can.

Rae Massingham, Chairman

  1. Other organisations– The Ladies Group continues to meet at Gillingham Swan Motel on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 11.00am. All ladies are welcome to come for coffee and a chat. Why not join us and make some new friends? Mrs Margaret Thrower (co-ordinator)
  2. Any other businessA request was made for the clerk to ask for a response from Norfolk Highways regarding the state of Gillingham Dam.

There being no other business and no other reports received the meeting was closed.

Gillingham Parish Council, Annual Meeting

Before the second meeting began the councillors filled the Acceptance of Office form. Mr Massingham welcomed Mr Warman as a new councillor.

Elections of Parish Council officers – Cllr Thrower proposed Cllr Massingham for Chairman; this was seconded by Cllr Foreman. Cllr Massingham proposed Cllr Thrower as Vice-Chairman; seconded by Cllr Hoare. Cllr Massingham proposed that the clerk Julia Punt continue as Responsible Financial Officer; seconded by Cllr Brown.

Parish Ten – The litter pick organised by Mrs Black went very well. There was a good response and about 18 people turned up to help, including members of the Romanian Orthodox community. Rubbish that had been gathered on the riverbank was also now removed. The chairman thanked Mrs Black and said how much they appreciated her readiness to continue her efforts in future. She said she would be organising another litter pick in November.

Cllr Brown was dismayed at how much litter was being left at the old cemetery on Church Lane ruins. The ground is uneven and potentially hazardous, and she was grateful for Mrs Black’s offer to join her in collecting the rubbish. They picked Saturday 18 May, meeting at 9.30am at the Village Hall. Others were invited to join them.

Village upkeep – Cllr Ward asked the clerk to find out if the Geldeston Road/Yarmouth Road footpath would be cut soon. The Boundaries potholes have been reported and marked but no action has yet been taken by Highways. The Boundaries light now repaired.

Planning Matters – 2019/0785: Dwelling at Village Farm, Kings Dam. The parish council did not object but feel that there would be an impact on parking opposite the proposed exit.

[See note at end of these minutes – 2019/1013]

Any other business – Purchase of new bus shelter going ahead this month. The gate to the allotments is constantly being left open and unlocked. Clerk to write to allotment users stressing the importance of keeping this locked when leaving the allotments.

Date of Next Meeting – Wednesday, 5 June 2019, starting at 7.30 pm. Everybody is welcome to attend.

Julia Punt, Clerk to the Parish,
tel. 01502-575518,


South Norfolk planning department

Our ref 2019/1013, 15 May 2019

Proposal: Residential development of 22 dwellings, together with associated public open space, access roads, garaging and car parking.

Location: Land South of The Street, Gillingham (Norfolk)
[immediately adjacent to The Boundaries]

Comments to be made and returned by 6 June 2019 to Clerk and / or
direct to SNC Planning department.