Post Office Meeting

Over 100 people turned out to the public meeting tonight to discuss the future of the Post Office, organised by Brigitte Butcher.

A vote in favour of the Post Office staying where it is was unanimous. A number of people offered to work with Brigitte to keep fighting to save the Diss Crown Post Office. The Town Council and Richard Bacon will continue to support the campaign and look for an innovative solution.

 

Don’t Miss Diss’ Party of the Year!

Since its revival in 2008, Diss Carnival has gone from strength to strength – it’s the annual party that the whole town get involved in. Residents and visitors alike line the streets of Diss to watch the traditional procession through the town then join in the entertainment at the Fun Day.

This year, the Carnival is set to be bigger and better than ever before, celebrating Carnival Through the Ages. Taking place right in the heart of Diss, in the Park, we’ve got plenty of fun in store. Expect the unexpected, from Vikings to Vintage Vehicles – and everything in between. Meander around the iconic Mere and enjoy the stalls and activities, or join us ringside for some fantastic entertainment!

Not only are we in a brand new location, but we’ve got some new activities to keep the whole family entertained. This year, we’re proud to present our very own It’s A Knockout Games. We’ve got five inflatable challenges for the teams to complete in, from Sumo Suits to a Bucking Pig, as well as games in the arena.

The Procession kicks off from the High School at 12.45pm, finishing at the Park. The Fun Day will run from 1pm – 5.30pm. We’ve been generously supported by businesses across Diss to make this years’ Carnival a FREE event, so come on down to Diss on Sunday 11th June and celebrate all things Carnival! With so much taking place throughout the day, make sure to pick up a copy of the Diss Carnival 2017 programme (available from 20th May) so you don’t miss a thing! Available for just £1 at retailers throughout Diss and at the Town Council offices.

For more information or to get involved, visit www.diss-carnival.co.uk or contact us via Facebook or twitter @disscarnival

Heritage Triangle Streetscape: FAQ

One of the New Hampshire Grants, Middlebury was chartered by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth on November 2, 1761. The name “Middlebury” came from its location between the towns of Salisbury and New Haven. It was awarded to John Evarts and 62 others.

Update to the Heritage Triangle Street Regeneration

As you are probably aware, the street regeneration scheme in the Heritage Triangle is on the way! We are working with the Heritage Triangle Project and Norfolk County Council to make sure the works cause as little disruption to residents and businesses as possible.

Business will be open as usual and access to the town centre will always be possible. There will however be alternative routes to exit the town. Car Parks will all be open as usual.

For all enquiries, please contact Paul Groom on 0344 800 8020.

The Heritage Triangle Team have created a handy set of Frequently asked questions you can view here.

Click here to view the information letter from Norfolk County Council

Below are more detailed plans of the road closures during the works:

MLPP/27368/CC/05 St Nicholas Street, Market Hill, Market Place – Road Closure Diversion refers to the full road closure.

Route MLPP/27468/CC/03 Markert Hill – Diversion Route Layout shows phase one of the road closures.

MLPP/27368/CC/01 St Nicholas Street – Diversion Route Layout Shows phase two of the road closures.

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.

Heritage Triangle Project: Street Regeneration Scheme

Important information for businesses and residents.

Have a look at the latest plans for the regeneration of the streetscape in the Heritage Triangle. The plans include the proposed road closures during the waorks. Works are due to start around the 17th April, and will take three months.

The proposed works involve the resurfacing of the existing footways and carriageway with new surface materials.  New raised tables are to be installed to help encourage pedestrian movement, while also maintaining vehicle movement in the area.  The existing carriageway parking bays on Market Hill will be removed as part of the proposal to widen the existing footway.

The Regeneration scheme is currently programmed to begin on, or shortly after, the 17th April 2017 lasting approximately 3 months. As shown on PJ3331-0100-013 Road Closure Notification Plan (see attached), the construction will entail four phases of road closures. These phases are just for reference and the order of works are to be confirmed.

During the road closure, the one-way system will be temporarily revoked. Local access and deliveries will be maintained. Business open as usual signs will be displayed within the area. We will endeavour to keep any potential disruption to a minimum and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Once we have more information, the intention is to send you another notification letter in early March. I trust the above information is useful, however, should you wish to discuss the matter further please do not hesitate to contact me on 01603 223073.

Download the full letter here.

Download the consultation plan.

Download the proposed road closure plan here.

Community Defibrillators

This month our Council Leader and Deputy Town Clerk were proud to support the Rotary Club of Diss & District at the launch of their third 24 hour public access defibrillator at Jewsons Ltd on Victoria Road.  Diss now has a total of 8 defibrillators, 3 of which are 24 hour public access.  You can view a map of their locations here.

We are keen to raise awareness of how easy it is for anyone to use this life saving equipment.  Our staff enjoyed a fascinating First Aid training session and we plan to roll out this training to all staff & councillors in the New Year – what better way to support the community of Diss than by saving a life.

If you are keen to learn more about these defibrillators and how they work in an emergency, the Rotary Club of Diss & District and The Community Heartbeat Trust are holding their first Community Awareness Seminar on 24 January 2017 at the Methodist Church in Diss. Please contact Ken Chapman at kchapman717@gmail.com to book. You can also find out more about them with this handy FAQ on the Community Heartbeat Website.

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.