Town Mayor’s Report October 2020

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October 20 report

October Town Council once again saw good attendance by local residents. This month’s agenda was very brief with the core meeting items of reports from councillors and reports from committees  being dealt with fairly promptly. The police gave their apologies again which indicates that Thorpe St Andrew is not a high crime area and not top of their action list although I do encourage all residents to be sure to report any issues. The racing of motorbikes on the business park does seem to have been brought under control by regular police monitoring. With the main business completed, we were left with the application for a licence for premises on Dussindale to produce and distribute cocktails. The license was for a residential house involving one person making and delivering orders to private houses. The applicant was present and faced a number of very searching questions from councillors regarding deliver, time of operation, vehicle movements and whether there would be collections from the premises. After very lengthy debate a vote was taken and a majority agreed to support the application with a number of conditions attached which should ensure no disruption to the neighbours. Broadland DC licensing will make the final decision and had conveyed their agreement to the conditions suggested. Obviously with clubs being shut there is demand for cocktails delivered to homes as a similar application was made in Sprowston earlier in the year.

The Planning and Environment Committee this month considered the Government White Paper on Planning. There had been coverage of the White Paper in the media and a number of residents had contacted me with their concerns over aspects of the paper and environmental groups, Friends of the Earth and The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) organised campaigns of letter writing to MPs to raise their concerns. The committee agreed that although some aspects of the paper might help speed up development there were many aspects which if implemented would seriously reduce democracy in the planning process. Whilst we all know that there is a need to build more houses across the UK this has to be done with consultation and local representation. The full copy of the Council’s response can be seen on our web site. A copy has also been forwarded to our MP, Chloe Smith. The Government also has a consultation document out regarding parking on footways which will be considered by the P&E committee at its November meeting on Monday 9th November and I would welcome any thoughts that residents have regarding parking on pavements/footways.

With Armistice Day approaching we are looking at safe ways to carry out our traditional memorial wreath laying and will be working with the Parish Church and Thorpe Branch of The Royal British Legion. Unfortunately our regular parade will not be possible with all our Scout & Guide groups etc and restrictions within the church will unfortunately reduce numbers after the last two years of seeing the church packed to standing room.

From a Council point of view the impact of the Covid virus has been minimal, we are still carrying out our duties and meeting virtually but I do miss seeing residents face to face at meetings and chatting to staff when I walk around Dussindale Park with my dog. Our way of life has changed and we’re getting used to it but some aspects I find are now getting a bit wearisome.

I’ll finish by just briefly mentioning Christmas. Unfortunately we will not be able to have our regular lights switch-on and Christmas market event at River Green this year. We are planning however to have an additional light display at Dussindale Park and competitions for children to colour in baubles, plus we would like to light up all of Thorpe St Andrew so we are asking all houses who have Christmas light displays to switch them on at the same time and day to coincide with the lights being turned on at the River Green and Dussindale Park. Full details of our plans for Covid Christmas 2020 are on our web site and we will be using social media to publicise them nearer the time, as I’m writing this report in October.