Swaffham Town Council
OPEN LETTER TO THE TOWNSPEOPLE OF SWAFFHAM
Recent meeting held by the Town Council in relation to Days Field.
Firstly, I want to thank those of you who attended the open public meeting held at the Town Hall on Monday 8th October. It was attended by approx. 80 people and a wide range of views were expressed. That open meeting was held after a press release was issued reporting that the Council, at its September meeting were considering a proposal to develop the site known as “Days Field” and that consideration was to be given to the Town Council working up an approach to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for permission to borrow up to £6 million pounds from a body known as the “Public works loan board”.
It was hoped that by holding the public meeting it would help clarify what we had in mind and address the total misinformation that was starting to spread. At that meeting we tabled a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” to help understanding. That list is on our website www.swaffhamtowncouncil.gov.uk and is being updated and added to shortly.
The proposal was passed by the Council, but it is very important to note that it is only a request for PERMISSION to borrow. If this is granted it does not commit the Council to actually make the decision to then actually seek the money. There has also been the suggestion that the Council was trying to keep things quiet. This is absolutely not the case and any preliminary discussion on this matter is a normal part of council business.
As Days Field is a public asset, all Councillors have a public duty to ensure “best value” is achieved. Therefore, the Council’s position is that it would be failing in its duty to you all if it did not look at all options to get best value. Councillors will not take undue risks.
There have also been views expressed that Councillors are being “led” or over influenced by our Town Clerk. The position has always been that the Clerk’s role is to advise the Councillors, including legalities, on all issues. He does NOT make the decisions. That is firmly the role of your 13 elected Councillors. WE have a very experienced Town Clerk who has served our Town loyally and faithfully for many years. He leads the Council Staff and can only make decisions within Council Policy or under Council instruction. He is respected by Councillors and has provided good governance to our Town during his tenure.
There is still a considerable amount of work to be undertaken even before we come to a decision to make the application to borrow. We therefore ask for your patience until we get to that stage. At that public meeting we promised to hold another such meeting, so we can share with you more detail. That will happen.
Finally, if you have any major issues at this precise time, please do raise them through the proper channels. It really is not helpful if more misleading information is spread around.
Cllr Colin Houghton
Swaffham Town Council
Swaffham is an attractive, family friendly Norfolk market town which sits at the very northern point of the Brecks, an area of outstanding tranquillity and beauty which stretches across Norfolk & Suffolk.
Swaffham’s fine Georgian buildings are a reminder that this town has long been a commercial centre – reputed to be a one-time favourite of Lord Nelson - there is a bustling Saturday Market and monthly Farmer's Market; the church of St Peter and Paul dominates the skyline and the town is a great place to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat, a drink or just relax and enjoy the Norfolk way of life.
There is plenty to see and do in Swaffham; from literally the top of the town visiting the Green Britain Centre and unique wind turbine to the Swaffham Museum with its many artifacts and stories through the ages; there is something for everyone.
Swaffham Town Council, consisting of 13 local Councillors led by the Mayor, are eager to share with you, on this website, the work undertaken on their residents’ behalf.
The Councillors, Town Clerk and his staff are always willing to listen to your concerns and do all in their power to support you.
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