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Parish council update

Due the early deadline for The Messenger this month it had not been possible to provide a summary of the Parish Council Meeting that was held on 21 March. The draft Minutes, however, are on the web site and the notice board outside the shop. Instead here are some notices which might be of interest.

First, some words from Cllr Peter Adams who monitors the state of the village footpaths on behalf of the Council.

“It has been an extremely wet start to the year and the public footpaths are becoming increasingly difficult to walk. I have however witnessed people walking on fields that aren’t designated public footpaths. Footpaths are clearly signposted so if there isn’t a sign on the route you intend to take it means that it is private land.

I have also noticed an increased amount of hoof marks on footpaths in Gislingham and the Thornham Road area. These are leaving large holes in the ground spoiling the surface for other users. Bridleways are also clearly marked so, unless you have the landowner’s permission, horses and ponies should keep to their designated routes.

If you have any concerns or issues in respect of public footpaths please contact the Parish Clerk, Terry Williams on gislinghamparishcouncil@ or me at”

Second, you might have already been made aware but there has been another delay in deciding the future of the land at the rear of West View Gardens where a developer is seeking outline planning permission for 40 houses. After rejection by the Parish Council and MSDC the developer submitted an appeal, to be resolved by a Planning Inspector. After a delay due to ill health, the Inspector was expected to have the appeal hearing on Wednesday 9 March. The Inspector decided at a very late stage that the plan is sufficiently controversial for there to be a Public Inquiry. This is a very unusual step to take for such a small development and we have yet to be informed when the Inquiry will take place.

Third, our County Councillor, Jessica Fleming, has stated that all those within Gislingham Parish who do not have at least 2mbps broadband speed are entitled to a voucher allowing them to purchase a satellite dish and obtain a broadband speed of 2mbps. More information can be found on the Better Broadband for Suffolk website and clicking on: “Options for People with Current Broadband Speeds of Less than 2mbps”.

Finally, after examining options for planning for the future of the village including a Neighbourhood Plan and an update of the Parish Plan the Council has determined that the only practical way ahead is to hold a Village Review. This will be facilitated by Community Action Suffolk and will take place over one afternoon and evening in the Village Hall where everybody will be invited to express their views on topics such as housing, schools, roads etc. No date has yet been set but it will be in May or June and there will be much publicity surrounding the event. The shape of Gislingham in the future could be affected by the outcome from the Village Review. Please do not miss the chance to have your say.

The next Parish Council help desk will be in the Village Hall on Saturday 2 April from 10am to 12 noon. The next Parish Council Meeting will be on Monday 18 April at 7:30pm.

Generally, the first point of contact for any matters to do with the Parish Council is the Parish Clerk, Mr Terry Williams on gislinghamparishcouncil@ or by phone on 01379 783903. The alternative is Cllr Chris Pitt at or 01379 788795.

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