August 2018 Newsletter
18TH JULY 2018
The Parish Council met on 4th July at the Social Club at Wolferton. Two members of the public attended who were welcomed.
Raising a Precept The issue which has caused the greatest concern to Parish Councillors concerns the very future of the council itself. We meet every two months, and at almost every meeting now, councillors are told of new burdens placed on it, without any funding to offset the extra costs. The latest, which has really brought this home, is the new burden which the Borough Council intends to place on parishes from May 2019, under which they pay for their elections, even if an election doesn’t take place. Put another way, every four years an election is due, but even if the number of candidates does not reach the number of Councillors required, so all the candidates are returned to office unopposed, then still the Borough will charge us. A lower charge rate it may be, but a charge it still is.
This is of particular issue to this parish council, because we do not raise a Precept, which means that we do not place an extra burden on our householders to pay for the services we have to provide or ensure are provided, such as grass cutting. For many years, the Sandringham Estate has provided these services without charge, but now we face costs imposed from ‘on high’ such as the election cost burden or the regulatory requirement to have a website now, but no compensating funding to pay for it.
The council has started a conversation between its councillors to decide whether or not to raise a Precept from May 2019 or seek out other ways of paying for these extra, and we would say, unfair burdens. A vote will be formally taken at our January meeting.
Naming of streets in the parish You cannot help but notice that street name boards have been put up in various places, including along the most deserted of country roads, to give the name of the road. This has been required by the Borough Council by law, even if some of the boards seem to us all to be nothing other than a complete waste of money. The parish council resisted as long as it could but in the end set about minimising the number of them.
Post Office for West Newton We are not completely sure yet, but the signs are good that a new mobile post office service will visit West Newton on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Again, we don’t yet have a start date, but the signs are encouraging. We have asked that the van be located in the entrance way to the village hall so that it is clearly visible to visitors to Howard’s Butchers, and we would hope that that would make it good for both organisations’ trade. More details as soon as we have them.
Issues with the bus service The Parish Council has made repeated representations to the County Council concerning failings in the new bus timetable for West Newton and Sandringham. The key failure is the last bus leaving town at 4pm (but later on Sundays) so that it is too early for college students or town workers, and too early at Sandringham for those who work at Sandringham Visitor Centre or Church and return home when they finish work at about 5pm. Our County Councillor has become involved in trying to get this satisfactorily resolved.
Funding the parish website The Government has required all parishes, including smaller ones such as ours, to have a website and had been funding the set up and ongoing hosting and maintenance costs for smaller authorities. That funding has suddenly been withdrawn in 2018 without explanation or advance notice. The parish council therefore has to find alternative sources of funding, so has asked each business and organisation in the parish to consider funding to the tune of £40 a year each – at the time of writing there has been one reply.
Wolferton village news
St Peter’s Church services are held at 9.30am on the second Sunday of each month, which are followed by coffee and biscuits, making it quite a social occasion which draws from adjacent parishes.
The Church Roof project group is progressing with an application to the Norfolk Churches Trust and other funding bodies as it moves towards the start of the essential work to repair the roof to protect other vital timbers in the building.
The Social Club remains an active centre for village activities and especially the popular folk club and prize bingo held there. The club is open Wednesday to Saturday evenings and Sunday lunchtimes and all are welcome.
Eyes down for Prize Bingo is at 7.30pm one Tuesday a month, on the following dates for the rest of the year:
The Wolf Folk Club meets at 8pm alternate Thursdays at the Club and advertises its “music on the wild side” and ‘singarounds’. Future dates for the rest of the year are:
August: 16th, 30th
September: 13th, 27th
October: 11th, 25th
November: 8th, 22nd
December: 6th, 20th