Completing the Heritage Triangle Scheme

As a key partner in the Heritage Triangle Project, Diss Town Council borrowed £200,000 in 2015 as its contribution towards the £3.2m Project.  One of the risks identified was that the Project costs may over-run (as is often the case with such historic and therefore complex buildings) so the option to borrow further money was retained.

The Town Council also agreed to underwrite the Project to the value of £130,000 to cover what was at that time, a funding shortfall, in order to get permission to start from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The Project team managed to fundraise far more than their goals, but despite their best efforts, the Project has over-run its original budget and a bid for an additional £235,000 has been submitted to the HLF to help get this Project completed.

If the bid is successful, this extra money will be subject to the Town Council honouring its original commitment of £130,000 which means we must take out a further loan to this value. However, the loan repayments would be offset by savings we have made elsewhere in the budget, meaning it will not impact on residents.

We have worked very hard not to raise our share of Council Tax over the last few years. Unfortunately, largely due to considerable reductions in government grants, Diss Town Council has had to increase its share of Council Tax by £14 for the 2017/18 financial year.  We will keep striving for cost savings in what we do, whilst maintaining and improving our services, so that you receive quality and value for money.

As always we encourage you to get in touch to tell us what you think – visit our website at www.diss.gov.uk, email towncouncil@diss.gov.uk or call 01379 643848, 9.30am – 3pm, Mon – Fri.

Christmas Opening Hours

Mon 19 – Fri 23 December
Visit the office: 9.30am – 1.30pm • Telephone: 9.30am – 3pm

Mon 26 – 29 December
Closed

Fri 30 December
Visit the office: 9.30am – 1.30pm • Telephone: 9.30am – 3pm.
There will be no Clerk & Councillor forum this week.

Mon 2 January
Closed for Bank Holiday

Normal opening hours resume from Tuesday 3 January.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Marston’s Appeal

The appeal by Marstons against the refusal of planning permission for the development of erection of 4 non-food retails units of nearly 4000sqm on Park Road, Diss has been dismissed.

In its written submission to the appeal, Diss Town Council opposed the development because of concerns that the proposed design would significantly detract from the conservation area and represented a missed opportunity to ‘raise the design standard’.

There was also concern that the proposed floor area would be an ‘economically unsustainable overdevelopment’ that would not generate town centre footfall, rather it would congest the town with further traffic. The retail study on which the proposed additional retail floor space that Diss could accommodate was carried out in 2007 prior to the economic downturn and town centre investment. The Town Council therefore argued that a retail impact assessment was required to understand the effect of a development of this size and scale on the town centre economy.

In her decision notice, Planning Inspector Amanda Blicq noted that the development ‘would detract from, and fail to preserve or enhance the Conservation Area or its setting’, fail to safeguard protected trees, and it has not been demonstrated that the development would not have a detrimental effect on the vitality and viability of the existing businesses within the town’.

Council Leader Graham Minshull said ‘The Town Council is pleased there will now be an opportunity to achieve a high-quality development on this site which will add real value to the town. We support development which will improve the quality of life for our community. We were concerned this development would not achieve this with its proposed large warehouse-style sheds representing a poor-quality design on our main transport route, further congesting traffic and swamping the already fragile town centre economy.’

Supporting those in need this Christmas

This year, staff and councillors alike have been getting involved with the Waveney Foodbank’s reverse advent calendar to help support families in crisis over Christmas. Starting from November 6th, for 24 days we donated an item a day to make a Christmas hamper for those in need.

Our Deputy Town Clerk with Councillors and the donations.

Our Deputy Town Clerk with Councillors and the donations.

 

The Waveney Foodbank is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks supported by the Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. The Centre has been facing increasing difficulty as funding reduces every year. They already rely on volunteers and donations to keep running, but are currently fundraising for a new van to aid in their collections, and for funds to help keep the distribution centre open. If you are looking to do some fundraising, or just get into the spirit of goodwill, perhaps give the foodbank a call?

 

Councillors and staff with our food boxes.

Festive fun for a good cause – Marketing & Administration Assistant Rosie, Councillors Minshull, Kiddie, Mrs and Mr Wenman with their donations.

Foodbanks provide a vital service to individuals and families in crisis, by providing three days nutritionally balanced food. Christmas can be one of the hardest times of year for those on low incomes and living under the poverty line. As the weather grows colder, people are forced to choose between heating or eating – an awful choice for anyone to have to make.

We hope that our boxes will make a positive difference to local families’ lives. Council Leader Graham Minshull said: “Being a councillor is about giving back to the community, too. At the end of the day, I can sit down for Christmas dinner knowing that I helped make sure someone else didn’t go hungry – it’s what the festive season is all about.”

You can find out more about the Waveney Foodbank and support their cause by visiting their website or calling 0845 269 1078. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Public Information Event

Diss Town Council are pleased to announce we will be hosting a Public Information Event on 25 November. The event will run from 2pm – 7pm at Diss United Reformed Church. With such an eventful year coming to an end, and an equally busy one ahead, it’s a great opportunity to catch up with what the Town, District and County Council’s have been up to, and for you to have your say on our next year!

We’ll have information stands on:

  • Diss Town Council – who we are and what we do!
  • Neighbourhood Planning – and how you can shape the future of Diss.
  • The Tourist Information Centre & Mere’s Mouth Toilets
  • Information on how to contact the different Councils, and what we each do.
  • The Heritage Triangle Project.
  • And much much more!

There will also be a chance to talk to your Councillors and Council Officers, as well as representatives from other key organisations.

The event is a ‘drop-in’ style information afternoon, so you can pop in any time between 2pm – 7pm. Refreshments will be available.

Streetscape Scene: Public Consultation

As part of the Heritage Triangle Regeneration, a new street scene is being created for the Triangle. There’ll be a public exhibition of the plans at the Clerk & Councillor forum on the 28th November where you can ask any questions you may have.

Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) are what make the yellow lines and parking regulations in an area enforceable. As part of the new street layout, the TROs will be changing.

Draft Streetscape Visual

A draft visual image of the streetscape.

This consultation gives you a chance to see the plans, ask any questions you may have, and make comments on the intended TROs. You can see what has been proposed in the documents below, and make any comments via the letter’s reply slip.

View the Consultation Plan

View the proposed Traffic Regulation Orders

View the Consultation Letter (and reply using the slip attached)