Council considers plan for garden to commemorate key workers
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Plans for the planting of a copse of trees to memorialise the sacrifices made by key workers in a Norfolk town during the pandemic took a step forward at a council meeting on Tuesday evening.
At their July full council meeting, Dereham town councillors returned to an idea put forward by Labour councillor Amy-Jane Brooks in June, to establish a green space with a seating area to commemorate the efforts of Dereham’s key workers.
Town clerk Tony Needham suggested that one possible location could be a piece of green space at Old Becclesgate, which is currently under the ownership of Breckland District Council.
In his agenda notes, Mr Needham wrote: “This open space looks like it needs to be given a purpose, the area would certainly be enhanced with some tree planting.
“Small trees would be recommended so as not to cause shading to houses in the future.”
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The cost of maintaining the area would be around £250 per year.
Conservative mayor Stuart Green said: “When you look at a map of Dereham, there aren’t many more places where you could have it [the copse] more centrally.”
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Green councillor Philip Morton said: “I would support the idea, because it [the piece of land] has very little use at the moment.”
He added: “It might be nice to see if we could include a small play area, so that when people sit down, children can play. Just something small, as low maintenance as we can get.”
But Conservative councillor Phillip Duigan disagreed, saying that a play area would detract from the solemnity of the space.
“It’s an area for quiet contemplation. There is a play area about 70 yards up the hill, just past the gym, so I’d prefer it to be a quiet area, because it is a semi-memorial-type garden.”
Labour councillor Kendra Cogman suggested the compromise of creating a trail to follow or installing some explanatory boards, which would give the area an activity of some kind.
While the precise details of the space are still to be looked into, councillors all agreed that they should make enquiries with Breckland council about using or, if necessary, taking ownership of the land.