Town Mayors Blog : April 2020

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It seems a long time since we were standing outside the Town Hall sorting leaflets for volunteers to deliver to inform residents of procedures being hurriedly put into place to help residents look after themselves and also where to find support should they need it.  I would like to thank the mass of volunteers who turned up that Saturday morning to distribute a total of 8500 newsletters.  Since then when I’ve been walking with my dog, Trixie, I’ve waved to many residents who have been sitting at their windows keeping safe in isolation and displaying our ‘I’m self-isolating’ sign warning visitors to stay away.  The Town Council team has been keeping up with requests from residents for help with shopping or just a friendly chat.  I have a regular slot with one of the pharmacies helping to deliver prescriptions and I have found this a very rewarding exercise as recipients are so pleased to receive their medicines and being vulnerable they really do need to stay in.  A wave at the door and cheery ‘Thank you, much appreciated’ makes it all very worthwhile.

The Town Council cancelled all its meetings for April but we will be arranging a virtual meeting online for May.  We are not sure how we will cover the requirements of public questions but I do encourage any resident who has an issue to contact the Council by emailing the clerk direct or myself.  All planning applications are still being considered jointly by myself and the clerk and responses are made to Broadland District Council in the normal manner.  Neighbours should still be getting letters from the Council which advises them of the application and we welcome comments for our consideration.  If virtual meetings work well, it is hoped that we can arrange online planning meetings too.

Fortunately, the weather for the end of March and April has been dry and so, despite the lockdown, I’ve been busy in my garden as I know many other residents have.  I think an open garden event after all this is over would be an excellent idea so that we can show off our labours to one and all.  A car boot sale might be useful too for all those people whom I’ve seen clearing out garages.  On the subject of clearing up, we have had a number of fly tipping incidents across the town so please can I appeal to all people to keep your rubbish on one side until the recycling centres open again, and I do believe they will be one of the early releases with proper control.  I also request that all residents remain vigilant and note and report any incidents of fly tipping.  We are in the process of taking action over one incident.

As I write this, I am watching Blue Tits fly in and out of a nest box in my garden and hence reminded that Spring really is on its way.

If we all remember to stay indoors, observe safe distances, wash our hands and be mindful of all risks if we have to go out then, hopefully we will remain safe and well. The virus hasn’t really impacted upon Norfolk yet, as much as other regions, but it will do so we need to stay vigilant and aware. Take care. Stay safe.

John Fisher, Town Mayor