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REPORTS FROM ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING - 24 April 2018
 

Afternoon Club Report - Reg Brock

The Club had another successful year with members enjoying a wide range of activities at monthly meetings and other events. Scrabble and Crafting have continued to be regular favourites along with the ever popular mini quiz starter. The mini "Call My Bluff" games proved much excitement in guessing the meaning of obscure and sometimes bizarre words.

Most popular non club day events have been the lunchtime meals when more than 20 people have consistently attended. The atmosphere at these has to be seen to be appreciated with so many enjoying themselves and in no rush to leave. No surprise that we are always being asked about the next meal out.

Our Charity event during the past year benefitted the Feline Care Trust with catnip mice and a wide selection of food, treats and goodies. Our visit to Snetterton was memorable, not least for the flooded access, but the welcome and enthusiasm of the dedicated staff. We were delighted to see the cats being so friendly, comfortable and well looked after. No worries about their future.

The all day trip to The Broads was a memorable event for all who attended. First we stopped at Wroxham for a walk round, before venturing on to Horning for a wonderful river cruise, with commentary, down to Ranworth and back. 1We returned home feeling well satisfied.

We have lost and gained members with time. Overall, we would like to see a few more faces from the Parish. Advertising in The Cock Crow as well as inserting a flyer has produced no new members. Word of mouth has been most successful, but we are still looking for ways to attract those who we know would benefit.

With the assistance of the Village Hall Committee, we have run several joint Quiz and Supper events, raising considerable funds to benefit us both. As a result, we were able to provide a Christmas Party for our members at no cost to them.

Our Staying Alive Charity Fun day and Flower Show takes place on Sunday July 8th when the beneficiaries are The East Anglian Air Ambulance and Diss First Responders in recognition of their lifesaving efforts in our Community. Plans are well advanced to provide what we hope will be a wonderful day including a grand raffle with some superb prizes. Needless to say, we will be looking for many volunteers to help on the day to make the event a success.

Bressingham & District Ladies Club - Sharon Cole, Chairman

This has been my 2nd year in office, and what a great year it has been. I’m grateful to say that we continue to enjoy a varied variety of interesting speakers. Starting in April 2017 we were show how to arrange flowers, by Heather Havers.

In May we welcomed Jackie Samways, who gave us a relaxing evening with Yoga & You.

In June we opened our doors to welcome non-members to a demonstration of Fudge Making with Kate Thurston, and her wonderful Handmade Fudge.

July we were given a talk on the use, and need for Detections Dogs, which work behind the sense looking for cancer & other illnesses, under controlled laboratory conditions. Norma Howell gave us information on the charity & her role in raising money for the training of more dogs. Also in July we had a fantastic day out to East Ruston Old Vicarage. We welcome members to bring along a guest, who can share in the benefits of the day. We walked round the amazing gardens, Shop & Tea room. We also had perfect weather for the day. These coach trips are given much thought by the committee, making sure all members will find the day interesting, and have fun. We also try and get the best coach prices, and the best discounts, as a club, which we pass on to our members; another reason for becoming a member.

No meeting in August

September the club welcomed Basil Abbott; with his talk on the Manning Family & friends in High places.

October, Barbarette Mortimer got us to Pull Yourself Together, and enlighten us with her talk on being a Counsellor.

November we were entertained by the wonderful Rachel Duffield, and her act of The Seven Ages of Woman. It was a great night and another chance for us to open our doors to non-members.

In December the Waveney Singers made our meeting one of the best, and gave us a real feeling of Christmas, with friends old & new. A chance to chat over a glass of mulled wine, and festive nibbles. A great way to start the Christmas season! Annual Christmas Party Meal at Brome Grange - Our 3rd year at the Tithe Barn, we sat down to a fabulous Christmas dinner with all the trimming.

Members are always asked to bring a guest.

The Committee is always looking out for “New venues” and of course value for money. We tend to be a large group, which is hard to accommodate, as not all places have the kitchen capacity.

No meeting in January

February 2018 First meeting of the New Year, which came with a fun packed evening from our speaker, friend & neighbour Linda Holly, with her talk on being an Air Stewardess in the 1970’s a time of high flying, bad fashion, and lots of fun, & sun.

In March doors were open to non-members. To hear a talk from Kristian Wimhurst of Diss Antiques, telling us about Victoria morning jewellery & pieces from the suffragette movement. Plus jewellery treads from the Georgian & Edwardian eras.

April 14th 2018 we held our Annual Birthday Party supper, held here at the hall. Members with their partners; bring a dish of choice for sharing, and yet again it was a great night!
It’s a chance to relax with wine, fab food and great friends, and of course party quizzes, which were put together by Sally. This year we were a party of 34.

The ladies Club has been running as an independent club, breaking away from the W.I over some 35 years ago. I’m only one in a long list of wonderful women over the years; who form the Ladies Club Committee. We try to promote friendship, community spirit, and have fun in the process. We hope we are getting things right, our numbers have increased in the past year, we now have 43 members. Club nights are very well attended, because of this our membership fees have not increased, and shall remain at £20. We shall still open our door to guests at a charge of £3.00. By becoming a member you shall receive a copy of the yearly programme. Trips & functions will always be offered to members first, so it pays to join.

I would like to thank the Committee and all our members for their support, which as members do, by attending the monthly meetings, and by paying of membership fees. I’m looking forward to this year’s programme for 2018-2019, and the chance to do it all again.


Bressingham and Fersfield Website - Margaret Harris

The website continues to be an excellent way of communicating with our local community. It covers a wide range of subject matter and has helped promote monthly events run by local groups such as the Bressingham & District Ladies Club and  the very successful Afternoon Club to annual events such as Blooming Bressingham & Fragrant Fersfield Open Gardens and local Plant Sales. It has been particularly useful in notifying residents of where the water mains replacement works have been taking place; matters discussed at Parish Council meetings and lack of good broadband services in the area and how this problem could be resolved.

It could still be improved if more people were to email us about anything that is happening in the Parish – the website is very much dependent on members of the community submitting information to be displayed. It is updated as soon as any information is emailed through.

Generally:       

  • Visit numbers continue to be between 500-600 per month
  • 50.7% are new visitors – 49.3% are returning visitors
  • On average, site visitors spend over 2 mins on the website
  • The majority of site visitors are still viewing the website via a personal computer with 25% viewing on a mobile device and 22% via tablet

 
Report from Barry Stone, District Councillor for Bressingham & Burston
South Norfolk – One of the best in the Country

There are 380 Councils in England and South Norfolk Council is officially one of the highest performing. The respected Local Government Chronicle placed us in the Top Six Councils nationally at its awards ceremony. Elsewhere, we were the first public sector organisation in Norfolk to win the coveted Investors In People Platinum designation for the work we do to enable our staff to work more effectively and efficiently to serve you better.

House Building and Leisure: Last year 1300 new homes were delivered in South Norfolk. That’s nearly 1pc of the entire national total of new homes. There are now many more affordable homes locally than before the right to buy started and our housing team are finding two socially-rented homes for families every business day. But new homes need to go alongside investments in the infrastructure that improves quality of life. At Wymondham a £4m investment in better leisure & fitness facilities has seen a 60% increase in the number of visitors and we now teach 2000 youngsters to swim each year.
We’re just about to start a similar £2m upgrade at Long Stratton on top of the completion of a new All-Weather pitch so that more and more people have the chance to lead healthier and active lifestyles.

Broadband Progress: Broadband is another key piece of infrastructure and we have signed a contract with a local provider to increase the number of fast-internet radio masts from 10 to 28. This means that by this summer the 5000 homes that BT cannot and will not connect to fast broadband will get proper access to the digital world – Broadband is a critical utility and we will be one of the first rural districts to get 100pc fast broadband coverage to everyone.

Long Stratton Bypass, Hempnall Crossroads and other Infrastructure Improvements: A planning application has been submitted for the Long Stratton Bypass and homes to be built alongside. There is a lot of work to be done before it becomes a reality, but the finance is in place to deliver it with Council, Government and Developer Contributions. Together with improvements at the Hempnall Crossroads, the dangerous Hales junction and shortly after, the developer-paid George Road, Loddon roundabout, contributions to the Diss Market Triangle and a new school in Wymondham, housing development is paying the bill for improvements that improve quality of life for everyone.

Independent Living: It’s not just about housing and infrastructure and strengthening the economy. You Council seeks to solve peoples’ problems one family a time. A good example is the way we help people stay independent in their homes for longer. This sort of work saves the NHS a fortune. In the last 3 months we have had a staff member sitting at the hospital as people are admitted to the ward. We identify the people who will be needing a little help at home when they get better: perhaps a hand rail in the bathroom, a wheelchair ramp or even something as simple as booster-feet under a favourite chair. We do this work whilst the patient is getting better so they can get home quicker. In just 12 weeks we helped 100 people, halved the average stay in the hospital and saved 380 bed-days and life was better for each of these people as they recovered. That’s just one example of our work which covers preventing homelessness, sorting our debt problems, helping youngsters find a rented home or ensuring that landlords keep their promises to tenants.

Economy and Efficiency: We mustn’t also forget the work we do to help small businesses and this year we have been able to reduce the rates bills of the smallest firms by more than the Government expects so that rural pubs, shops & garages in particular can remain open for longer. Everyone knows that finances are tight in local Government, so we have invested in becoming a low-cost operator. It means that our Council Tax is 20% less that inflation since 2007 yet we do more. As an example, 62% of our ten most popular transactions are now applied-for online via our website. It means that we have fewer administrators, can deal with problems faster and at times when it is convenient for our customers – even if the office is closed. These efficiencies are important but they are not enough if we are to deliver the 86 services for residents. So that’s why we are looking to do more with our neighbours at Broadland Council. Both councils have similar geography, scale and outlook. We are seeing whether a single team that works for both Councils will benefit our communities on a scale residents can recognise and relate to.
Working more closely together offers both councils increased capacity and resilience, together with greater financial stability whilst taking advantage of commercial opportunities to deliver better value for our residents. Our taxpayers expect a local government that moves with the times and innovates, while retaining and attracting the most talented staff, offering them positive futures and career development opportunities. Our joint aim is for two strong councils, working together with the ambition and resources to make our combined area one of the best places to live and work in the country.

Better Lives and Stronger Communities: Finally, all these things work on a district-wide basis. But we’re delivering locally too. We still offer community grants and very locally have assisted projects in Brooke like the WI Community Café that combats loneliness, the Men’s Shed in Poringland that does so much good work in the community. We contributed to the Brooke defibrillator and helped Bergh Apton put on the Village Play. And in Seething a contribution was made to the new playpark. In my ward I helped fund a music workshop in Fersfield and improve the drainage at the BMX track in Burston. Everything we do aims to make Better Lives and Stronger Economies for everyone whilst keeping the cost down with a dedicated team of staff members and Councillors working with the other parts of Government to improve lives one family at a time, one street at a time and one place at a time.

BRESSINGHAM & FERSFIELD DRAMA ASSOCIATION - Brenda Webb
The Drama Group has had another very good year. Starting with the Murder Mystery in April. This is later this year on this Saturday 28th, still tickets available if anyone is interested. so I don't have any profit figures as yet. We then performed a play called "Marigolds - Piling on the Agony" in November. It had to be postponed twice as our leading man had work commitments and was not in the country. There were only three in the cast so we were down 30% on rehearsals. Eventually it was performed in early November and we had great support over the two nights and made a profit of £936 which included the bar takings. This made the blood and sweat all worthwhile. Next was our annual Pantomime. "Hansel and Gretel" the logistics for this one pushed our back stage staff to the limit. We had flying cats, people falling out of windows, people disappearing, a ghost and a fourposter on the stage all of which was amazing with the space we have. Our leading lady and man were two new youngsters to such a main part and both performed extremely well and knew all there lines. Our little Hansel spent the Saturday in Bury hospital but was determined to be there for the nights' performance and he was. There were a lot of bugs going round during rehearsal time which made things very difficult. I missed four rehearsals Directing but they are a great bunch and carried on in true Bressingham fashion. Everyone put great effort into the rehearsals and the three performances, both back stage and front of house. Main thing is, it is good fun and a great laugh. Hence a super profit of £1410.

We would like to thank our local councillor Barry Stone for his donation towards our new digital lightening equipment. Also the Bressingham Charity for their donation. This was very much appreciated by ourselves and commented on by audience members.

We have had new young members and their parents this year which is lovely. These youngsters we hope will go on to be leading ladies and men in the future. Hansel and Gretel already have. The grownups were great as well.

The group is almost 30 years old now and we have a following on Facebook of old members in France and America. This is encouraging for us and of interest for them.

The profit going to the village hall for 2017/2018 (without this Saturdays Murder Supper) is £2340. We thank everyone who continues to come and support us throughout the year.

Our next performance is on Sunday 8th July when we will support the Air Ambulance and First Responders at the Fun Day Flower Show on the playing field and in the hall. On the 100th world war Anniversary we are going to be entertaining at the lunch which will be held here in the village hall.

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