Mayor Cllr Robin Pegg welcomed the Town Council and members of the public to the Annual Town Meeting held at the Town Hall on Thursday the 4th April 2013.
They were there to discuss matters arising from last years meeting, reports from the Standing Committee Chairmen, town matters and to take questions from the floor.
Proceedings began with a heart warming welcome from the Mayor, he mentioned some of the Council’s achievements, such as the success of R.A.F. Homecoming Parade and there were regular references all night to the fact that Downham Market was voted the 22nd best town to live in, in England. A statistic we are all proud of and which was reported by downhamweb on the 20th March. Cllr Pegg also mentioned the success of the Boxing club and Skate Park at the Jubilee centre.
A special mention was made to Mrs. Shelagh Hutson who is stepping down as County Councillor in May after 8 and a half years, having retired once in 2003 she is trying again, “It has been an honour and a privilege to represent the town” she said after receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
There was some great news delivered by Inspector Mick Bates of Norfolk Constabulary, “crime is down by nearly 10%.” Violent crime is down to 99 from 114 cases and a drop of 60 offences from this time last year is a very encouraging statistic. He also outlined plans to combat crime trends such as rural crime (theft of scrap metal, fuel, agricultural equipment and machinery), lowering the burglary of dwellings by assigning more patrols and looking to have a PCSO Officer in each high school in their constituency.
The Inspector informed those in attendance of ‘Snap Meetings’, a chance for members of the public to go to the Downham Town Hall and share any thoughts and feelings they may have regarding the safety and welfare of the town. Safer Neighbourhood Action Panels (SNAPS) are bi-monthly meetings, always chaired by a local councillor and made up of representatives from the police (usually the local Sargent or Inspector), the Borough Council (Environmental Health), West Norfolk Partnership, and may also include other agencies dedicated to that neighbourhood, including housing, education and health.
For further information you can get in touch with the Norfolk Constabulary by phoning, visiting their website or dropping by the station (you are always welcome).
The Standing Committee Chairmen then took to the floor to read their annual reports in their respective fields and answer any relevant questions. The reports were in regards to the Town Hall, Property, Community Development, Planning and the Environment and Finances.
It was then time for the Councillors to receive questions from the floor.
Cllr Charlie Pyatt urged members of the public to come forward to give the council on ideas on how to utilise and improve the Howdale Community Centre. So if you do have any ides don’t hesitate to get in contact with the council. He then went on to give particular praise to North Lynn Discovery Centre Manager Jimmy Yallop for his contribution towards the new Boxing Club and other youth developments in the town, “he is an absolute jewel” the Councillor acknowledged.
If you would like a copy of the complete minutes of the meeting, you will be able to find them on the council’s website as a downloadable PDF file once they have been released.