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Diss Town Mayor Charity Auction of Promises – Saturday 8th March

February 21, 2014

Each year the Town Mayor names a charity to benefit from the various civic receptions and events organised by the incumbant Mayor.

This year the chosen charities are EACH (East Anglian children’s Hospice) and the Diss First Responders of the Eastern England Ambulance Trust.

This is a ticketed event, but at £5 each which includes a glass of wine and snacks, I can’t think that you could find better value entertainment!

In addition there will be lots of fabulous items to bid for including a round of golf with ME, at Diss Golf Club.

Another which has most generously donated by the Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk is a 150cl bottle of a well-regarded French red wine Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Reserve de la Comtesse, 1994.

I understand that Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a famous second-growth and this should make an excellent bid too!

Tickets are available from the Town Council Office. Gazes have kindly agreed to be auctioneers. Bids are also accepted by email or I suppose even by phone on the night if REALLY keen.

7.for 7.30 at the Corn Hall in Diss.  Look at the Mayors Charity Website for further information about the lots on offer……


Will County Council cuts affect us in Diss & Roydon?

January 12, 2014

They could do, and probably will do – but I urge you to take a look at your local facilities.  The Library for instance? will we lose staff time or opening hours?
All the Committees which oversee Council business will be discussing the Council budget over the next few weeks in time for decisions to be made at Full Council on Monday 17th February.
Nothing speaks as loudly as the voice of a local resident taking the time to write to a Committee Secretary with a question and then to turn up in person to ask the question of the Committee themselves.  This shows true determination and commitment.
So watch out for the publication of Committee papers, which are available about 10 days before each meeting. Information on how to ask a question is included.

Norfolk County Council will have to save money.  Mainly this will be done by sharing services.  For instance why have two members of staff working half a day each doing similar work when one member of staff working a whole day will cost less.  Do we need different buildings for the Fire station, Police station, Ambulance station etc and why not have a library in your local school?  A job club in the Job Centre?!  Should schools/parents (or the general taxpayer) pay for the Crossing Patrol staff?

Goodness only knows why the back office organisation was not simplified as we went along but it wasnt and has now become very complicated and therefore expensive to run.  The upshot is that we no longer have the money to carry on as before.

Business Rate Summit – invitation to discuss on 14th January

January 12, 2014

With apologies for this late post………but on Tuesday 14th January from 10-12 there will be an open meeting at County Hall to discuss Business Rates and the impact on your business!

Business Rates (Non Domestic Rates) are levied by Central Government but collected on their behalf by the local authority. Quoting the text promoted by NCC……

QUOTE:                  How much of a burden on Norfolk’s businesses is the current system of business rates?

That is the question that Norfolk County Councillors want local businesses to help answer at a Business Rates summit being held at County Hall, Norwich, on Tuesday 14 January (10am, Council Chamber).

The meeting is a special session of the council’s Environment, Transport and Development Overview and Scrutiny Panel, and Panel Chairman Bev Spratt said it was important that members heard from businesses and representative organisations.

“Many businesses, especially smaller ones, have struggled over the last five years after the credit crunch and during the recession. Keeping costs low has been critical, but during that time business rates have risen by over 22%. It’s not surprising that it’s become a big issue for business, especially for shops who are facing increasing competition from online shopping.

“Businesses do have to contribute to the services that they and the wider community rely upon, but the questions are whether the business rates are the right way to do it, and if the business rate relief on offer is properly targeted. A number of organisations have already confirmed attendance at the January meeting, and I hope that individual businesses will also register to attend, so that Panel members can hear from people who are on the receiving end of business rate bills.”

Anyone wishing to attend should register their interest by emailing Keith Cogdell, scrutiny support manager, at There is limited parking available at County Hall, which will be allocated on a first come first served basis.  : UNQUOTE

Typically, not enough people will have registered I suspect, so despite being a late advice from me – if you’ve picked it up I’m sure you will get in in if you wish to.   NCC have a statutory duty to consult with local business but often it seems to me that this is not wide enough, e.g. it mught just be an advert in the local papers, so it is good a public meeting has been arranged this year.

Free Event Management Workshop

January 12, 2014

South Norfolk Council are hosting a free
workshop on Wednesday 29 January 2014
6.30pm to 8.15pm
South Norfolk Council, Long Stratton, NR15 2XE

to help:

•Update your event management skills
•Q&A’s with our panel of experts
•Book your space on forthcoming creative workshops to enhance your events
•Find out about funding opportunities
•Register your event with us to benefit from additional promotion
•Help shape how we deliver events in your area
•Ensure your events in 2014 are a success

Please RSVP by 20 January 2014 to

Photography Exhibition at the Corn Hall

January 10, 2014

Photo exhibiton in The Stables gallery

Lucy Kaynes photos

We are so lucky that the Corn Hall Trust stepped in with such vigour to turn our “community hall” into such a thriving arts centre. It is not unusual to meet visitors from 20+ miles away just “because the programming is so good”!
We are also able to support emerging local talent.
Such is the case of photographer Lucy Kayne who is putting on this exhibiton and has been able to add the poetry of her sister Laura togther with that of Sheila Smith.

‘On The Eve Of’ is a year-long photographic project, focusing on objects which people discard. Photographing outside at night at TW Gaze auction rooms in Diss, Lucy has gone in search of everyday items which await a new life. These photographs are devoid of human life or activity, yet Lucy aims to bring a sense of humanity to each object, as if they are sitting there calmly and patiently in the dark, while the town sleeps, waiting for their new lives to begin.

The exhibition is accompanied by work from two poets – Laura Fernandez-Kayne and Sheila Smith, who have written in response to the photographs, adding extra depth to the work and bringing personal viewpoints to the exhibition.

The work aims to be introspective and reflective, looking at ways in which we emotionally attach ourselves to inanimate objects, and how one person’s junk is another’s treasure.

The exhibition is being held at the Corn Hall Gallery, St Nicholas Street, Diss, from 4th – 28th February. There is an evening viewing event on 5th February, from 6.30-7.45pm, at which you can view the work and meet Lucy in person.

I’m sure it will prove a success.

Norfolk Police – Financial Precept Consultation

January 10, 2014

Councillors were invited last evening to meet with the Police and Crime Commissioner together with some senior staff to discuss their reasons for wishing to increase the precept this year by 2%.
Usefully, they have added a link on their own website for the information, including the power point presentation.
I queried why the detection rates are not shown along with crime numbers, and have been promised these separately.
That the crime figures in some cases have gone up (e.g. domestic abuse/hate crime) in some cases, is in fact “good” as it relates to the additional work the police have been doing to make it easier to report.
The audience last evening voted for the increase. I don’t think anyone doubts what a good job they do in keeping us safe and the last thing we wanted was less policemen.
As with the County Council they have continually to reassess how they spend their money. Joining up services is an absolute must. Norfolk Police are now working with Suffolk Police. This will mean the “cross border” policing becomes even more joined up – as indeed is only sensible.
The sharing of facilities too should become more apparent, why not a policeman in your Library for instance? Already I know some vehicle maintenance is shared with the County Council, but the joint sharing of facilities of all the blue light service should become the norm.

Diss Town Christmas Lights switch on Saturday 30th November at 4pm

November 16, 2013

Pete Gillings is going to be switching on the lights this year, and Park Radio will be the compere! Should be a really fun evening. From 4-7pm in the Market Place with lots going on … singing, hogroast, mulled wine etc.
If you can display a poster please do so…….

Diss Lights 30th Nov 2013 Poster