We are fortunate to live in an area with very low rates of crime. Nevertheless, in recent months there have been a number of reported burglaries in and around the Breckland area, including in South Lopham. As recently as the evening of Friday 24 March 2017 a resident on Thetford road reported a man loitering and acting suspiciously behind the property. When challenged he ran away in the direction of Garboldisham.
All residents are reminded to ensure that your home is secure and to be aware of anyone acting suspiciously. If you have cause for concern contact Norfolk Police on 999 if a crime is in progress, or 101 for non-emergencies.
The Parish Council has recently conducted a survey of all the public rights of way in the village as the number of complaints about the poor state of our paths has been increasing in recent months. The survey has highlighted the poor condition of many of the paths, some of which are impassable, while others are well kept and easy to access.
Landowners have a statutory duty to ensure that any public path on their land is accessible and the NFU provide advice on how best to maintain these rights of way.
National Farmers Union (NFU) Advice
- All field edge PROWs should be at least 1.5m wide and free from obstruction.
- All cross field PROWs should be at least 1.0m wide and free from obstruction.
- Where crops such as maize or oil seed rape are sown alongside a cross field path, it is necessary to leave a strip 1.8m wide to maintain public access.
- If a cross field path is disturbed for cultivation, the path should be re-instated within 14 days.
- Maintenance of gates and stiles is the responsibility of the land owner.
- NCC Rangers can be asked by the parish council to install finger posts at each end of a PROW where it meets the public highway.
- NCC is responsible for maintaining ditch and river crossings if they existed when the path was first recorded.
- Parish councils should aim to work with local landowners, explaining their public rights of way responsibilities and setting out what needs to done to resolve the issue.
- Where issues cannot be resolved at a local level, NCC Highways should be contacted to pursue the matter.
At the September council meeting it was agreed to publish the results of the footpath survey on the parish website and to write to as many landowners as possible, particularly where paths are over grown and poorly maintained, to actively encourage landowners to address any issues. We have also committed to ensuring that any missing or broken finger-posts will be replaced and Norfolk County Council have been contacted to implement this work.
A copy of the survey results, PROW reference map and sample letter that we are sending to landowners are available (PDF format).
Any specific issues relating to the accessibility and maintenance of Public Rights of Way in South Lopham Parish can be reported to the Parish Council or directly to the Rights of Way team at Norfolk County Council (further general information about PROW is also available on the NCC website).
There may be good news coming if you have a private pumping station on your property.
Currently, homeowners have to spend hundreds of pounds every year for electricity running costs, maintenance and repairs to look after these private pumping stations. They may even have been flooded if it’s broken down in the past.
From October 2016, many of these private pumping stations will transfer over to Anglian Water and become their responsibility. They will take over all of the maintenance and the running costs too, saving customers hassle, worry and money.
To help customers identify and report the pumping stations easily, Anglian Water have launched a specialist website: www.spotapumpingstation.co.uk.
The non-emergency patient transport service in Norfolk is a partnership between ERS Medical and Voluntary Norfolk, providing transport for patients living in Norfolk to hospitals throughout East Anglia and beyond. Our volunteer drivers provide an essential service, transporting up to one hundred patients to their destination each day.
Paul Minchin (photo left), our Volunteer Driver’s Representative for the Breckland area has been volunteering with the service for many years and says “I have always enjoyed meeting people and talking to them and I also enjoying driving – this role is absolutely ideal. In my role as a rep, I want to ensure that drivers are comfortable in their volunteering and will help any driver with any problem.”
We would love to hear from caring, calm and reliable individuals with their own car. We are always keen to hear from volunteers happy to go above and beyond the usual, by taking on early morning appointments for patients needing dialysis, and appointments in London. All expenses are reimbursed, and training and support is provided. Please call Jules on 01603 883860 or email [email protected] for more information.
SOUTH LOPHAM ESTATES CHARITY
(Registered Charity No. 221724)
Part of the purpose of this charity is to give modest sums of money (say up to £100 – but could be increased in appropriate cases) to residents of South Lopham who have a specific financial need.
We are particularly interested in helping young people with the expenses of education and training, including travel.
Other applications for consideration could include (a) anyone suffering as a result of a bereavement or an unforeseen setback; or (b) problems or expense as a result of illness in the family such as travel to a hospital or care home; or (c) to assist any resident who has insufficient disposable income to enable him/her to enjoy the occasional treat; or (d) any other cause which the Trustees consider deserving.
If you believe that you or someone in your family may qualify for such assistance would you please contact the Secretary Keeley Chapman on 01379 687985 for further details and a simple application form for completion.
If you are aware of any other resident in specific financial need please let the Secretary know so that we can approach that person to see if we can help.
Please be assured that all applications will be treated sympathetically and with complete confidentiality.
Issued on behalf of the Trustees
To help the Emergency Services get to you as quickly as possible in an emergency, particularly in rural areas it is good practice to have the grid reference for your home clearly displayed next to your telephone.
You can print out and use this Grid Reference Card (PDF document opens in a new window) and enter your address and Grid Reference to keep by the telephone.
To find out your Grid Reference you can use www.gridreferencefinder.com to find your house on the map and get the grid reference.
Please help friends, relatives or neighbours who don’t have access to the internet by completing a Grid Reference Card for them.
If you need assistance please contact the webmaster, Parish Clerk or any of the Parish Councillors who will be happy to help.
As a community we are fortunate to have an extensive network of public footpaths in the village which are protected by law. For a number of years Breckland District Council has paid for many of these paths to be cut on a regular basis thus making them readily available for all of us to use. However, as part of the local government cutbacks Breckland is no longer able to finance the cutting of these footpaths and is instead insisting that the landowners fulfil their legal obligations by ensuring that these paths are accessible at all times. The withdrawal of regular cutting by Breckland has meant that many paths in each village have become overgrown and difficult to walk this year.
Norfolk County Council has given responsibility for footpath maintenance to its Highways Department who will deal directly with the landowner to ensure he is fulfilling his legal obligations. However the parish councils in North and South Lopham would like to be made aware of any footpath problems so that they can monitor the situation in each village. Please contact the Parish Clerk, add a comment to this post or tweet @SouthLopham using hashtag #PRoW to report any issues.
South Lopham Parish now has a Twitter account. Follow us @SouthLopham for news, events and local information.
Norfolk County Council have published a leaflet with information, advice and contact numbers to help Norfolk residents be prepared for unexpected emergencies such as flooding, power cuts etc. To download and print a copy click here (PDF, opens in new window).
This is the official website for the Parish of South Lopham. Here you will find details of your Parish Council, local information and events.
If you are a visitor, a special welcome to our village and lovely countryside, we hope you will find this site useful in finding places to stay and visit.
Please make a point of signing in regularly to keep up to date with local events and news, or sign up for email updates via the “subcribe2 our site” link on the right, or follow us on Twitter @SouthLopham.
We welcome contributions to the News area and any items for inclusion should be sent to [email protected]