Click here for more information or to download an application form/job description…
Diss Town Council (DTC) welcomes the District Council’s reminder of the commitments made by both DTC and South Norfolk Council (SNC) in 2015. If given the opportunity, DTC will fulfil its obligation to take on responsibility for the Mere’s Mouth toilets when SNC has fulfilled its obligations under the same agreement.
The Town Council’s April decision was based solely on revised proposals put forward by SNC. This return to our mutual obligations made in 2015, effectively nullifies that April decision. The situation is further complicated by the existence of a lease between SNC & the landowner (Diss Parochial Charities).
SNC gave £400,000 towards the construction in the Heritage Triangle. The conditions of the money being granted were that it could only be spent on the Heritage Triangle project and required public toilets to be provided in the Cornhall and the tourist Information office to be moved from its kiosk site.
The Town Council has been budgeting for the maintenance of the Mere’s Mouth toilets with the full intention of fulfilling its obligations.
Two surveys commissioned by SNC lead them to conclude that their £80,000 budget was insufficient to rectify the identified structural problems and in their view the buildings were best demolished. DTC was offered the £80,000 to take on the refurbishment at their own risk. However, given that the experts at SNC had not identified the additional costs involved and were not prepared to take on the risk themselves, DTC concluded it was not appropriate to put that burden on the taxpayers of Diss.
We would be happy to meet with Kay Mason-Billig to clarify the points where she feels there is confusion and to move the process forward. We do feel it is high time that the community in Diss, including our MP, were made aware of the facts surrounding the Mere’s Mouth toilets.
DTC is very happy to “face up to its responsibilities” as Richard Bacon says. Perhaps he could also urge SNC to do the same.
The full details of the 2015 agreement are available under a Freedom of Information request and DTC urges any interested parties to obtain a copy this way.
At last night’s Annual Meeting of Full Council, cheques were presented to the Diss Town Mayor’s chosen charities; Norwich Mind & Tearfund, both very close to his heart.
Both charities received £534 each from money raised at various events lead by the Town Mayor in his Mayoral year.
Pictured below: Andy Robertson from Tearfund and Sarah Ingram from Norwich Mind.
Cllr Trevor Wenman was also re-elected to continue his role as Diss Town Mayor for another year by his fellow Town Councillors.
Diss Town Council is hosting its Annual Town Meeting – a meeting of the electors of Diss and open to all town residents – on Tuesday 1st May 2018 from 6pm at the United Reformed Church on Mere Street.
The event will take a similar format to previous years with opportunities to network and find out what all three Councils have been doing on your behalf of the town over the last year.
There will also be a chance to:
All welcome- spread the word!
Diss Town Council were faced with another challenging budgetary decision this year. Our income from council tax has gone down by £63,000 over the last five years because of Government changes to the Council Tax benefit system.
Until last year we had tried to absorb that loss, but it became essential to phase in an above inflation increase over two years from April 2017 to plug this funding gap to continue to maintain our services. The 13.6% increase from April 2018 works out on average at £22.35 for the year or £2.24 per month paid over 10 months. These figures are based on a Band D Council Tax household, which is the national criteria used for calculating Council Tax.
The recently completed £3.3M Heritage Triangle Project included a loan of £330,000 as the Town Council’s contribution to the project. This was a loan of a smaller amount than the £400,000 it was estimated it would have cost to make the Corn Hall watertight and deal with known structural issues, which would only have kept the building in its previous unregenerated form.
The regeneration and restoration of the Corn Hall could only be achieved through investment from other sources. The Heritage Lottery Fund was the only source that would provide the required level of funding but the Corn Hall on its own was not of sufficient heritage interest to them. The HLF would only consider projects that delivered real heritage benefits. The Corn Hall, the surrounding area and the boardwalk, which became known as the Heritage Triangle, was considered worthy of investment. Hence the Town Council’s £330K loan has achieved a further nearly £3M investment in Diss.
Full details of our budget can be found here
Would you like to make a difference in your community? Are you interested in taking on a new challenge? We now have three councillor vacancies and we’d love to hear from you.
Councillors get involved in a wide variety of activities as well as making strategic decisions on behalf of the community. It is a voluntary role but there are many benefits to being a councillor, not least the opportunity to have your say and help to make Diss a better place.
For more information about our vacancies or to download an application form, click here. The deadline for applications is 14th March 2018.
Diss Town Council is now looking for three new councillors. If you’re interested in making a difference in your community, we’d love to hear from you!
Applicants must be over 18 and a citizen of the UK, EU or Commonwealth and live or work within 3 miles of Diss. No formal qualifications required, just a commitment to doing what’s best for the town. Please note: Town Councillors are volunteers. This is an unpaid position.
We’d like to extend our gratitude to Councillors Graham Minshull, David Traube and Mike Bardwell for the support and contributions they have made over many years service.
The Corn Hall so far had been a great success since its re-opening, but the other part of the Heritage Triangle project: the streetscape scheme and the Wildlife garden and boardwalk behind the council offices was reaching its conclusion in early September. An event was planned for 8th September, to coincide with the national heritage open days, to show off the area to the general public and to give them a chance to walk on water…
The Heritage Triangle is a community project and the final touches – the planting of trees and bedding plants around the triangle needed volunteers to help with it. So I dusted off my gardening gloves and got stuck in on a bright Sunday morning.
In truth I did get my hands dirty with a bit of planting, but mostly I helped by barrowing around compost and sweeping up afterwards. But the results were quite stunning.
Not the totally dry and boring meeting you might have assumed. There was a fascinating presentation from a group of scouts from Norfolk who who had been to the 15th World Scout Moot in Iceland from 25 July – 2 August 2017. The Moot brought together up to 5000 young adults between the ages of 18 to 25, for what seemed a fantastic time.
One of the best bits of August, when we were supposed to be having a bit of a break from Council duties was walking round the Heritage Triangle devising a set of questions for people to answer on a prize quiz. The quiz utilised the “toblerone” boards as source of the information to answer the quiz. The board outside the Corn Hall held the answer to question 11 :
Unfortunately, someone reversed into it a week before the open day, so we had to devise a new question.
The day itself was a great success . We had coffee from COW (coffee on wheels!) a barbecue provided by Browns the Butchers and roving buskers (including a strange chap in a hat reciting poetry.
And of course the boardwalk was open. Dinsdale came to see, but didn’t venture down for fear of getting his feet wet.
The next week was spent handing our the prizes for the triangle trail, of which more elsewhere on the website :
A little quieter in August, but we did have some time away in Devon for my Mum’s 80th Birthday in
We got back just in time for the Big Sing at St Mary’s Church (on our wedding anniversary – is there a theme here?). Partly because of the time of year coinciding with two family birthdays and wedding anniversary we had never managed to get to the Big Sing before. The legendary Gerry Hoskin organised it, as he has done the previous 12 years, and compered the event in a lovely light hearted double act with the Rector, Tony Billett. I use the term legendary advisedly because… well easier to demonstrate with this photo…
It was a great time (as you may realise by now both Fiona and I like a good sing). Gerry’s shirt was loud, but the singing was louder. It was all in a good cause of course, and a collection was made for the Fire Service Benevolent Fund.
A charity event of a different kind took us to Scole on the following Sunday for Clare’s game. This was a really fun way to commemorate the life of a young lady called Clare Mackmin who tragically died as the result of an epileptic seizure whilst expecting her first child, who also sadly could not be saved. Her friends and family rallied round to make something positive of it, and hit on the idea of a charity football match between a team of friends (captained by Clare’s husband, Shaun, and a team from Glazing Vision, who are based in Sawmills Road.
This is a photo taken before the match:
The purple strip belongs to Clare’s team. This was her favourite colour, and the colour of the Epilepsy Society, for which the match raised funds. Clare’s team won 10-1 in a really enjoyable and light-hearted game. It was a humbling experience to see a group of people pulling together to make something so positive out of such a tragedy. There was a piece in the Diss Express at the time, and they have done some more fund-raising events since.
The last day of the month saw an invitation to Splice Creative – one of Diss’ hidden gems in the form of a media company in Mere Street that was having a party to celebrate its first birthday.