Mayor's plan for town's future after "tough year" of Covid
- Credit: Noah Vickers
In the first of a new regular column featuring Dereham voices, recently re-elected Dereham mayor STUART GREEN looks back on his first term of office, and ahead to the town's future.
Since being elected as Mayor in August, it has been a tough year for everyone - tighter Covid restrictions were brought back in, along with long lockdowns. It’s not been a usual Mayoral year!
The Town Council has supported groups and charities during the pandemic, along with keeping the market open to support traders and the public to get essentials. The Memorial Hall has been kept open to blood donors who are still critically needed even during the pandemic.
To recognise the financial impact of Covid on everyone, the Town Council reduced the planned increase to council tax. No one likes a council tax rise, but it was kept as low as possible without impacting our services.
This year will hopefully be a much more positive year for everyone, with Covid restrictions ending and some form of normality resuming. Businesses will be able to reopen after over a year of restrictions and I’m looking forward to seeing the town busy again during the summer, with our restaurants and venues thriving again.
Later in Spring we should start to see the new wayfinding signs and boards around town. I’m sure everyone will be able to find out something new about the town from the great information on them, thanks to all those who have been involved in this project. We will also see the opening of the new Ellenor Fenn Garden on Wright’s Walk - much better than the current blue hoardings!
I’ve worked over the last few months to improve the working relationship between Dereham Town Council and Breckland District Council so we are able to work together in the best way, particularly with planning applications. We want to ensure Dereham gets the right open space provisions, so it’s available for future generations, and rectify the current deficit.
The new ‘Future Breckland’ initiative, which Breckland Council are leading on, is an exciting prospect for a town plan to help shape the future of Dereham’s development. This project is looking at all aspects of the town and they are welcoming comments from all residents and stakeholders (please check Breckland’s website for details).
The newly formed working group between Dereham Town Council and the aboutDereham partnership has had some interesting discussions regarding what we see for the future of the town and how, working with the new town plan, this could become reality.
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I’m looking forward to the next year, being out of Covid restrictions, but looking at and helping to plan for the future of Dereham.
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