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Street lights in spotlight

PUBLISHED: 14:43 23 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:24 30 June 2010

HOPTON parish councillors are to write to the county council with concerns over the proposed turning off of some street lights between midnight and 6am to save costs.

HOPTON parish councillors are to write to the county council with concerns over the proposed turning off of some street lights between midnight and 6am to save costs.

At their meeting last week, councillors discussed the proposition and expressed their fears over a potential rise in vandalism and burglary. However, county councillor Gerry Cook said a three-month pilot scheme in Essex found the crime rate decreased in the area.

One alternative suggestion was put by a resident at the meeting: that alternate lights could be switched off.

In his police report, PCSO Dave Nickerson reported there had been 34 calls from Hopton during December and three were recorded as crimes.

Councillors heard that work will start on the Warren Road cyclepath/footpath soon and chairman Mike Butcher thanked Cllr Cook for his his help.

Regarding the new village hall complex, Cllr Ken Hicks revealed the car park was fenced off and toilets demolished. Temporary toilets have been installed between the hall and heath centre and the car park area was due to be stripped out to get ready for the foundations of the new building.

The application to English Heritage to consolidate the walls of the St Margaret's ruins is now finished and will be sent off shortly. All ideas for the future use of the ruins are subject to consultation, planning, licensing etc.

Clerk Julie McNair said nomination packs have been delivered to residents who have shown an interest in becoming a parish councillor. If there are more candidates than vacancies, a poll will take place on Thursday, February 11 in the village hall.

The meeting was suspended for Stephen Ford of Great Yarmouth Lions who said this year's fete and carnival will be on Sunday, August 15. The organisers are looking for active volunteers to help between now and August. The first meeting is on January 26 at the Imperial Hotel, Yarmouth at 7.30pm and if anyone would like to help on the committee they can contact Stephen Ford on 01502 732421. Cllrs Howard Shepherdson and Formosa will be joining this year's fete committee.

Cllr Brian Howard suggested a large Christmas tree be installed in the village, with decorations, for next Christmas. He will report with cost estimates in due course.

The chairman revealed there have been concerns in the past with regard to the impartiality of the magazine. The council is a non political organisation but there have been a number of recent political adverts and articles included. The relationship has been good for the council because the magazine does not cost the council anything to produce or deliver.

Looking at alternatives, GYBC could produce an A3 folded (4 sheets), black and white printed leaflet for £88 plus VAT, or full colour at £230 plus VAT. Artwork would be a further £20 per hour (maximum 2 hours) plus £1 stapling. Seeking advertisers could recoup some/all of the cost in due course, although distribution would be limited to Hopton only. The Norfolk Probation Service, Unpaid Work Unit, has confirmed they would be prepared to deliver the leaflet once a month throughout the parish for a maximum of one year, but this would be dependent upon the number of people available on a Sunday to make up delivery teams. The first newsletter could go out seeking volunteer residents to deliver on a monthly basis within the parish. Following debate, it was unanimously agreed to keep the situation under review.

In the public forum, points raised were: The broken bus timetable holder at the entrance to the village has been repaired; some of the new caulking to the sea wall is now missing and needs replacing; the beach is at an all time low. It is now in a prime position for the sea to start eroding the metal defences. Once the sea defences fail at Hopton, properties up to half a mile from the shoreline, could devalue by up to 30pc. Residents should not be complacent as it will affect them. GYBC is still awaiting a report from the Environment Agency regarding the outer harbour works, and the potential effect on surrounding beach areas. Hopton Holiday Village have had their own consultants investigate and report on sea defences.

An oak tree in the ruins is overhanging a garden in Watsons Close. It was confirmed that the Parish Council has responsibility for maintaining trees in the ruins/gardens; County Councillor Gerry Cook said that road markings at the junction of Hall Road/Lowestoft Road will go ahead; residents are asked to report when grit bins are empty so that a request can be made to NCC to refill them; residents on Trafalgar Grange have raised concerns with the new Neighbourhood Watch team about the proposed lighting scheme and John Tonks, Chairman of the Neighbourhood Watch team, will write to the county council pointing out their concerns and suggestion; and dog poo dispensers and signs have now been installed around the recreation ground.

The next meeting is on Monday, February 8 at 7pm in Hopton Village Hall.


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