Claxton Village Newsletter, Autumn-Winter 2014

Introduction
This is our first newsletter since the 2012 Jubilee Celebrations. The aim is simple. To keep the whole village informed about issues which affect most or all of us. Your Parish Councillors (details below) will be pleased to receive suggestions of topics for future editions. We are aiming to produce a fresh newsletter every few months, depending on the amount of material we have at any given time. So send us your ideas, and comments of course!

Playground Facilities
It’s almost 2 years since the Parish Council had the diseased maple on the Green taken down, with the logs being offered to all villagers for personal use. At the time there was some concern that this had taken away the tree swing used by village children without providing an alternative.

Since then the Parish Council has actively been seeking volunteers – ideally from Claxton families with school-age children – to join the Chair, Pat Clare, in a working group to take forward the proposal for playground facilities on the grounds behind the Village Hall.

Although Pat has not received any offers of help from those who would benefit, she is still keen to take this forward if a nucleus of people can be gathered. Please let her know on 480317 or at clarepv@gmail.com if you are interested.

Allotments
Following the creation of the Parish Plan back in 2010, Claxton Manor generously made space available for up to 5 allotment plots where villagers can grow their own produce. These have proved popular since 2011 but all plots are now available for renting from 2015 onwards.

The annual rent is a very competitive £20 per plot and the site will continue to be managed by the Pits Trust on behalf of the Parish Council. More details can be found on the website.

Broadband services
Our thanks to the 27 residents who responded in July to our request for broadband download speed data. Following the Parish Council meeting on 17 September we have written to our Member of Parliament as well as the District and County Councils to challenge them to deliver on their promises, even though the minimum speed promised is still a meagre 2Mps.

Internet access is proving to be much more of an issue for rural electors and the politicians need to understand this. A copy of the letter and the reply from Richard Bacon MP are on the website.

Recycling – new arrangements
Many of you will be aware that since 1 October this year lots more material can be recycled in the domestic (green) bins for collection every two weeks. South Norfolk Council have issued detailed guidance to all households. This will not currently affect the bottle banks at the Village Hall which will still be emptied as before. Their future will be reviewed next year to see whether there is a case for retaining them beyond 2015.

Speeding
A reminder to villagers and visitors alike about the dangers to others of driving at excessive speeds through the village. 30MPH is certainly fast enough and lower speeds are appreciated, not least around blind bends such as at Claxton Corner. We rely on the goodwill and common sense of those who use our roads. Please help us to spread the word.

Village Hall events
There have been several successful events at the Village Hall recently, including the Quiz Night, Harvest Supper, the Macmillan Coffee morning and a fund-raising Christmas event in aid of Autism Anglia. Many thanks to all those who came to any or all of these. Your generosity is deeply appreciated. More events are being planned for the New Year. Check out the website and noticeboards.

Village Website
The website began in July 2011 and is now more than 3 years old. For those with access to the internet it can be a way of keeping tabs on what’s going on in and around the village, and the website manager, Mike Balmer, is always looking for items to put on the site.

We have a number of visitors to the site every day but its effectiveness depends on the freshness and relevance of its content. Mike can’t do it all himself. If you have any ideas to improve it or more general comments please contact him on 484162 or by e-mail at mbalmer@btinternet.com.

2015 Elections
It may seem early to focus on elections but in May 2015 every level of government in England will be decided at the ballot box. That means voting in a new Parish Council as well. Watch this space for more news as Thursday 7 May 2015 approaches.

Season’s Greetings
Your Parish Council would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone living in or visiting Claxton over the festive period a safe and enjoyable time.

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