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Call for more town council members

PUBLISHED: 08:00 31 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:49 07 July 2010

Emma Knights

A call to have more members on Dereham Town Council was among issues discussed at the town's annual parish meeting.

Former town councillor Linda Goreham said at Tuesday's meeting that Dereham's population was growing at a rapid rate and to reflect this there should be an extra councillor each for both Neatherd and Central wards.

A call to have more members on Dereham Town Council was among issues discussed at the town's annual parish meeting.

Former town councillor Linda Goreham said at Tuesday's meeting that Dereham's population was growing at a rapid rate and to reflect this there should be an extra councillor each for both Neatherd and Central wards.

Currently the council has 12 members - four for Toftwood ward, three for Central, three for Neatherd and two for Humbletoft.

Town mayor Ann Bowyer said having extra councillors would give a better representation of the public, and Michael Fanthorpe said more people were needed to bring in different ideas.

But John Gretton said the current size of the council worked very well and the important thing was to have councillors committed to the job. Linda Monument also thought having 12 members worked very effectively.

The town council will discuss the issue at the next finance committee.

Mrs Goreham also asked the town council, once it takes responsibility for Dereham's play areas, to install gates in the gaps in the fencing on the Sandy Lane play area to stop children and animals running out into the road.

John Gretton suggested putting in a kissing gate and Robert Hambidge said this should be pursued sooner rather than later.

Other issues brought up included the need to deal with graffiti in the town, and the issue of toilets in the town centre.

Some thought the Barwell Court toilets alone were not enough for Dereham, but it was pointed out there are other toilets available such as at the library, Morrisons and the leisure centre.

The council was asked about the timescale for the Memorial Hall revamp, and said it was hoped work would start in June and that the hall would open in July 2011.

In the town mayor's annual report Mrs Bowyer said the Memorial Hall has been the biggest and most important piece of work the council has been working on this year.

She said individuals and companies would be given the chance to sponsor a seat in the new hall and details about this would be announced in the next few weeks.

Other things she mentioned included Dereham winning the EDP Pride in Norfolk Awards for the communities over 5,000 population category, how the town had worked together to raise money for a new Far East Prisoners of War flag, and how the council had taken over the majority of the organisation of the Christmas lights switch-on event which it felt was a great success.

She said land has been earmarked for the town's new cemetery and it was hoped within the next 12 months it will be secured by the town council.

She paid tribute to the Friends of Dereham Windmill's work to find funding to refurbish the windmill, but said as there was a lack of funding available at the moment it had been decided to look into funding again after the Olympics.

Geoff Hayton and Ernest Barnes were both given citizens awards for their commitment to Dereham Windmill.


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