Parish Council roundup

Our esteemed Burgh and Tuttington Parish Council met recently to debate matters of great import. Well, perhaps not quite so highfalutin’ as that but of interest all the same.

At the January meeting in Burgh Reading Room, the Council was joined by one of our South Norfolk and Broadland District Council Members Cllr. Sue Catchpole and three residents of the parish. Cllr. Catchpole brought those assembled up to date with happenings at District level including an update on the Greater Norwich Local Plan, further news about the nutrient neutrality issue, and on the proposed major developments in Aylsham currently going through the planning process, amongst other items.

One area that seems to have exercised residents of Tuttington in recent months is maintenance of the Village Green and whether or not the grass should be mown. One opinion is that the grass on the Green should be kept short and tidy and available for village events. An alternative view is that the area could become a more diverse wildlife habitat by allowing the grass to grow up. More orchids, frogs, newts and hedgehogs have been reported as a result of leaving the Green to grow up but no protected species as such have been observed. Some folk have become concerned that leaving the grass to grow up could lead to the Green turning into scrub which would neither be an environmental asset nor useable for events. It has been suggested by some residents that those who wish to encourage wildlife could choose to do so first in their own gardens.

The Green is currently maintained by the District Council Community Assets Management Team who have in the past been unsure which policy to implement in the light of differing local opinion. Consequently, the Parish Council has now grasped the nettle and developed a plan to proactively coordinate management and maintenance of the Green with the District Council team following consultation with residents.

The plan is to maintain at least three quarters of the Green with regular grass-cutting to enable it to be used by villagers either informally or at organised events. It is believed that this is the best way to strengthen community wellbeing. This will be further enhanced by developing a smaller area at the east end into a wildflower meadow. A notice will be posted to provide residents with further information. Parish Council member Simon Covey and Parish Clerk Sue Lake will co-ordinate the new plans. They can be contacted via the Parish Council website if residents have queries regarding Tuttington Green.

There was another discussion about the state of the river Bure which runs through Burgh in our Parish. Upstream of Burgh – and still within the Parish of Burgh and Tuttington – is the outflow from the Anglian Water sewage treatment plant serving Aylsham. Our Parish Council has been extremely vocal about the risks to our local environment and that of the Broadland National Park through which the Bure flows. Councillors have made representations about proposed large developments in Aylsham adding greatly to the load of an under-capacity sewage works. They have also written to Anglian Water and our local MP about the problem.

There is a group in Burgh who want to get a better picture of the state of the Bure in our Parish and perhaps residents with a broader interest in wildlife habitats might wish to consider joining a local environmental interest group. Have a look at the Burgh Life website for further info.

And finally, although it’s fair to say that our Parish Council is there to work for our community, just think how much more could be achieved if there was a full complement of Councillors – the Council is currently short by two members. Please consider helping your community by becoming a Parish Councillor. Your first step is to contact any member of the Parish Council (see the website here) or the Parish Clerk and they will give you the lowdown. You do not need to have any qualifications other than being a resident (or near neighbour) of the Parish of Burgh and Tuttington.