'March'ing towards our exit
After the Government's much anticipated 'Road Map' announcement, I think it is fair to say that we all felt a little more optimistic about that chink of light at the end of the tunnel. I write this exactly one year to the day that the village hall was forced to close its doors. In some ways, it has been a very quick year and in others it has felt never ending. Certainly, in March 2020, we could not have anticipated still working from home one year later with the village hall standing ghost like and cold just waiting for the sounds of parties and celebrations, clubs and groups to fill it once again.
Much like the Government, we have devised our own road map to guide us through the next few months and hotly await the first step (for us) at the end of this month when organised outdoor sport is allowed to resume meaning that our two football teams, Swanton Morley FC and Cockers FC can resume training and playing in the grounds of the village hall. Future steps in the plan are not set in stone as we know that the Government will be guided by data and not dates but our plans are in place and we hope to see the gradual return progress as planned until we reach the final step and can begin private hire once more later in the year.
Parish Council meetings continue to be held online and our most recent one was attended by our County Councillor Bill Borrett as well as two guest speakers from Breckland Council who were there to discuss affordable housing on exception sites in Swanton Morley. Whilst this is something that the council support in principle in accordance with o
ur adopted Neighbourhood Plan, they decided to defer any decisions until the outcome is known regarding the application to build 36 bungalows adjacent to Lincoln House. The recommended number of additional, affordable housing for Swanton Morley is 15.
Councillor Borrett reported that Swanton Morley
Parish Council's bid for matched funding via the Parish Partnership scheme to help tackle the issue of speeding and road safety in the village had been successful. This will mean that in the forthcoming financial year we will see a new (third) vehicle activated speed sign purchased as well as new road markings outside the playground on Gooseberry hill and a trod installed between Swanton Morley Surgery and the Norwich Road junction in Woodgate. With thanks to Councillor Borrett for his support of our application, we can continue to work towards reducing speeding and making the village a safer place for all parishioners.
In his capacity as District Councillor, Mr Atterwill announced that Breckland Council have now agreed their budget which will mean a rise in Council Tax of £4.95 for a band D property. He was also keen to let people know that the budget includes a sum of £65,000, by way of a hardship fund, to help those who are struggling to pay their council tax.
Sadly, litter and dog fouling continue to be major problems in our lovely village despite a number of bins for both being provided by the council. Please lead by example and help to keep Swanton Morley tidy. We will be running a litter campaign to raise awareness of the issue in the near future - watch out for our posters.