Nominations open for Broadland & South Norfolk Business Awards 2020!

The Broadland and South Norfolk Business Awards 2020 have now launched and their website is live

Businesses can nominate themselves for an award in any of the nine categories and at the same time our residents can support their favourite business by nominating them as our ‘Retailer of the Year’.

Please encourage local businesses across both districts to nominate themselves for an award and help us support the wide variety of companies that make up our local economy.

New look for Town’s busiest Play Park!

New look for Town’s busiest Play Park

Work is underway to improve the children’s play area in Diss Park, located next to the Mere in the heart of the town and used by many from surrounding villages.

Diss Town Council has contracted Proludic to install four new pieces of equipment (see insert photo) targeted at older children (7+), which will sit alongside existing equipment. The works are scheduled to take place before the ground hardens during winter months. The younger children’s’ area will remain as existing except for one new piece of equipment – Romeo, the snail rocker. Thank you to all those that voted on the Council’s consultation via the social media poll and at our Offices.

Despite the reasonable appearance of the ten-year old play equipment, regular risk assessment reports received by the Town Council recommended removal of several items of equipment to meet safety requirements.  Importing replacement parts from the only supplier in the United States was going to be more costly than the cost of providing brand new play equipment.

The Town Council was pleased to be able to donate the old zip wire to the Fair Green Neighbourhood Association for re-use.

Most of this project is being paid for from Section 106 monies, which are developer contributions from the Longmeadow estate. The remaining balance will be paid for from Community Infrastructure Levy funds (these are also developer contributions but for more general infrastructure improvements).

The S106 funds were to be spent by either Diss or Roydon Council ‘for the provision extension or improvement of indoor or outdoor physical recreational facilities or equipment within the parish of Roydon and Diss in lieu of the actual provision of adult/older children outdoor recreational open space provision and for no other purpose’. Any expenditure will need to relate specifically to the ‘adult/older children’ category.

The Town Council has been working with neighbouring parish, Roydon over the last few years, to identify suitable projects that meet the above criteria and that can be delivered by the March 2020 deadline to avoid the funds being returned to the developer.

Roydon Parish Council consulted their residents and considered several projects including upgrade to their village hall and adult gym equipment.  Unfortunately, the village hall improvements did not meet the criteria and the optimal location couldn’t be agreed upon for the gym equipment.

As Roydon had been unable to identify any projects specifically for their parish, given the view that all of the projects put forward for ‘Diss’ would benefit the residents of surrounding villages almost in equal measure and with the timeframe for expenditure of the monies in mind, Roydon Parish Council put forward, in September 2018, the improvements to the skateboard park at the Sports Ground (owned by Diss Town Council but located in Roydon parish) and improvements to the play equipment at Fair Green (situated next to both Roydon and Diss) to South Norfolk Council (who hold the funds) for consideration.

These two projects followed a previous submission for the Park play equipment upgrade and reconfiguring the first floor of the Diss Youth & Community Centre, which had already been approved as eligible projects by SNC and agreed with Roydon Parish Council.

All projects were considered eligible for expenditure of the S106 funds and in addition £20k of the total fund pot was earmarked to Roydon Parish Council to continue investigating options.

At Roydon Parish Council’s recent meeting, it was agreed that options would be explored for an additional piece of play equipment at the South Norfolk Council owned play area on the William Brown Way estate off Roydon Road.  If the S106 monies cannot be spent by Roydon parish by the deadline early next year, the Town Council has agreed to reserve £20k from its Community Infrastructure Levy funds, which is not restricted by the same deadline, to enable its partner parish additional time to get a project delivered.

Whilst the works to improve the Park play area are underway (expected to take up to six weeks), there are 13 other play areas in the local area to explore.  South Norfolk Council own and maintain 12 playgrounds and there is the recently upgraded play area on Fair Green.

  • Brushmakers Way, Diss IP22 4QZ
  • De-Lucy Close, Diss IP22 4YL
  • Egremont Road, Diss IP22 4NF – currently awaiting safety surfacing.
  • Ensign Way, Diss IP22 4GP
  • Old Coaching Place, Diss IP22 4NR
  • Pursehouse Way, Diss IP22 4YB
  • Scholars Walk, Diss IP22 4EA
  • Shreeves Road, Diss IP22 4HS
  • Sycamore Way, Diss IP22 4ZD
  • Trafalgar Way, Diss IP22 4JX
  • Appletree Lane, Roydon IP22 4FL
  • William Brown Way, Roydon IP22 55Q

The Skateboard Park at the Sports Ground on Shelfanger Road is also receiving a makeover starting 21st October so is also open for use between now and then.  These works are scheduled to take up to two weeks.

Look out for details of the Park’s grand opening event coming soon.

 

New environmentally friendly café opens in Diss

Hug is all about great freshly cooked homemade food and drink to warm the soul.  It’s a new concept, offering comfort food for everyone from our café on Market Hill in Diss.

From 8am to 3pm Monday to Saturday, Hug will offer a great appetising range of simple but comforting dishes on a constantly changing seasonal menu.

You can start the day with eggs cooked anyway you like on sourdough toast with great accompaniments such as bacon, smoked salmon or portobello mushroom.  Our delicious slow-cooked porridge comes with a choice of toppings, you may prefer pancakes or our hearty breakfast butty.

Later in the day, Hug will offer an enticing and ever-changing menu; including fresh homemade soup with homemade bread, a choice of hot and cold sandwiches in bloomer bread and a healthy salad bowl with dressing on the side.  We will always have a vegan option on our menu.

Whatever you choose, you will know that when you come to Hug you will enjoy great food and drink, sourced from ethically, environmentally friendly and socially responsible produce.

Hug is run by chef James Richardson-Thacker, who is already well-known locally as owner of the Fox & Hounds pub in Great Moulton.  James said: “I’m confident that Diss will embrace the concept of Hug and our great range of comforting food.  Although environmentally friendly and seasonal food is now very topical, in many ways what we are offering is very traditional with a modern twist.

“We’ve taken great care in looking at how we can reduce the impact on the environment so there is no single use plastic, we’re reducing packaging to a minimum and it’s all biodegradable.”

Hug is also hoping to put something back with the introduction of Three Chocolate Elephants – delicious hot chocolate drinks where 50p from every one bought will be donated to a charity involved in saving elephants.

Hug is now open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 3pm on Market Hill in Diss.

Photo Credit: Wendy Aiken

The unveiling of the Swootman Plough & Heritage Triangle Map Mural

The unveiling of the Swootman Plough and Heritage Triangle Map Mural took place today (30th September) behind the Council Offices in the gardens.

Diss Heritage Triangle Trust has funded the plough’s restoration, 100 years after it last worked the land! The Swootman was produced by Diss manufacturers Elijah Youngs & Co and became world famous. To read more about the history of the Swootman Plough, click here. 

The Heritage Triangle Map Mural, designed by local artist Daisy Fearns, shares a fantastic visual of the Heritage Triangle with all its hidden treasures. It can be found on the side of the Town Council Offices as you walk through to the boardwalk’s top viewing platform.

Head down to the boardwalk & gardens for a closer look at these beautiful creations!

Diss Town Councillor raises over £500 for Diabetes UK

Big well done to Diss Town Councillor, Mark Gingell, for completing the 12 Bridges Charity Challenge in London yesterday! 5,000 people took part in the 10-mile challenge which takes place over 12 iconic bridges, in aid of Diabetes UK.

After completing the challenge along with his wife Amanda and friend Mart, Mark said “Despite it being a bit wet, we had a great day and it was a great atmosphere! Between the three of us, we raised over £500. I have a ‘Just Giving’ donation page and have hit my target, however further donations are always welcome after the event.” https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-gingell

Diss Carnival Committee Needs You!

Over the last three years, Diss Carnival has become the biggest event on the town’s calendar – a fun and free day out for all the family.

The Carnival committee is relatively small and in order to maintain our success, we are looking to expand and recruit new members to join us.  In particular, we are looking for people who have good admin skills to assist with the application forms, good communicators who are happy to source sponsorship, liaise with local businesses and fabulous organisers who are happy to assist in areas; such as road closures, steward management, stall layout and everything else between!

The committee is made up of volunteers who meet once a month.  If you are passionate about your Town and wish to be part of organising this fantastic community event then please contact us at towncouncil@diss.gov.uk or message us on facebook @DissCarnival.

Introducing Fay, Diss’ flying falcon

Fay the falcon set to work in Mere Street yesterday with the aim of relocating the pigeon population away from the town centre.

This initiative is the start of a yearlong programme to improve the town centre’s cleanliness.

Mark White from Dealey Bird & Falconry has been spearheading the project along with support from local businesses, South Norfolk District Council and Diss Town Council.

Mark will be carrying out regular controlled flights along Mere Street three times a week for the first four weeks, reducing to two times a week for following four weeks ending with a once a week flight for the remainder of the 12 months.

He is confident that by the end of the programme, the falcon will have deterred most pigeons from the area. Mark said “The 164 pigeons were a bit slow to react to the falcon at Mere’s Mouth to start, but as soon as Fay started flying, they reacted well. Nearly all the pigeons stayed off Mere Street and the Mere’s Mouth and a total of ten landed on shop buildings and Mere’s Mouth that we control. The pigeons could be seen periodically flying over in two groups around Mere’s Mouth and some of the shops to check if it was safe to return. This is quite normal at this stage of the treatment. Many were seen on buildings in the Heritage Triangle area for most of today’s visit.

Fay has only flown today on the line at close quarters, but it is enough for them to get the message that she is a predator. Next week, we will let her go and she will begin to fly wherever she wants!”

The programme has been funded by approximately 25 shops in the town centre, with the remaining costs covered by both Diss Town Council and South Norfolk Council.

We would like to encourage residents and visitors to only feed the ducks appropriate seed as bread has been proven to be harmful to them. In addition to this, if we limit the amount of food available to them by not overfeeding them, this should go some way to also not attracting pigeons to that area.

The Town Council is working with Dealey and a local trader to improve access to the duck pellets and asks that you only feed the pigeons from the Park. We are also continuing to work with South Norfolk Council on street cleaning initiatives.

We hope that together, and with the introduction of the falcon, we will start to see positive results for the whole town centre.