Just when we all began to feel like we were stuck in the Groundhog Day movie, we realise that we have somehow moved into a new calendar month and there are chinks of light on the horizon - and not just the days getting longer. The vaccine programme is nothing short of astounding and we wish to add our thanks and appreciation to all of the doctors, nurses, support staff and volunteers at Swanton Morley Surgery who have been running our local vaccine clinic. The operation is so well organised and right across our county the roll out is progressing at good speed.
We are fast approaching a year of closures, on varying levels, of the village hall but the hard work and dedication of our NHS, supporting staff and volunteers must surely start to pay dividends shortly and we truly hope that we will soon have a plan to welcome people back in a steady and safe way. We await the Government announcement on 22nd February.
During the pandemic, Parish Council meetings have been granted special dispensation to be held virtually and Swanton Morley Parish Council continue to hold monthly meetings via Microsoft Teams. Members of the public are still very welcome to attend and need only send a request the Parish Clerk ahead of the meeting so that she can send out an invitation link.
On Monday, 8th February it was good to see that 11 parishioners joined the meeting. Hot topics for discussion this month were planning, flooding and speeding. A number of members of the public attended to oppose a planning application on Frogs Hall Lane, Woodgate. The applicants were also in attendance and were able to address many of the concerns raised, particularly that of additional surface water which could add to an already precarious situation in that area. Later in the meeting, the Parish Council found to object to the application as it doesn't fully comply with either the Neighbourhood Plan or Local Plan. Full details and comments can be found on the Breckland Council Planning Portal.
Flooding in Woodgate is an ongoing problem which seems to have only got worse in recent years, with a particular issue around the entrance to Frogs Hall Lane. There seem to be a number of contributing factors to the problem which require further investigation and the Parish Council have compiled a report to be submitted to Norfolk County Council Highways Department, Anglian Water, Breckland Planning Department, our local NCC Councillor, Mr Bill Borrett. The report is available for anyone to see on request and was displayed at the meeting for those in attendance to view. Some action has already been agreed with NCC Highways extending kerbing in the area to help direct the flow of water and Anglian Water repairing what seems to have been a faulty pump in the sub station located on Frogs Hall Lane.
A number of other members of the public wanted to address the issue of speeding in the village again as it continues to be an ongoing problem. An application has been submitted to the Parish Partnership funding scheme to help purchase a further electronic speed sign (SAM2) and for road markings to be made around the playground on Gooseberry Hill. Unfortunately, the Police have suspended the Community Speedwatch scheme during the pandemic but with all of the necessary paperwork completed and submitted, as soon as it is operational again, we will be ready to begin our training and get the Speedwatch off the ground in Swanton Morley.
Lastly, we got snow!!! We have really enjoyed seeing so many wonderful photographs of our village under a blanket of white shared on social media and have created a gallery on this website as a result which will hopefully continue to show the best of what we have over the coming seasons. Thank you to all who have contributed so far. If you have a picture of our village that you would like to share on the website, please send it to email@example.com and we will do our best to share as many as possible.