Diss Town Council now have eleven councillors! I chaired a extraordinary Full Council Meeting where two more members of our community were co-opted to join Diss Town Council. I welcome Cllr Sue Kiddie and Cllr Mark Gingell to the Town Council, and know they bring with them a wealth of knowledge. -Diss Town Mayor, Cllr Sonia Browne
Meet your new Town Mayor of Diss: Cllr Sonia Browne!
Hello all, I am Sonia Browne your newly elected Town Mayor. My family have lived in in the town for nearly eight years and I work with the Citizens Advice with Help Through Crisis Project, where I wear many hats in the organisation. I also carry out other voluntary work in our community.
I have been volunteering as a Town Councillor for almost two years. I have sat on the Facilites and Executive committee, (where I was Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee) and was also elected Deputy Town Mayor of Diss prior to becoming Mayor. I like the fact that I will be getting more involved in the community, as well representing so many different communities of Diss. As the only woman on the council and of minority, I feel it important to show that our town council is evolving to reflect our beautiful town. I am also looking forward to raising money for my chosen charities.
Thank you! I feel very proud, if at first in a bit of shock – but also immensely happy. The role of Mayor is one that I take seriously, and one which I hope will help to promote the best of Diss. I will try not let it change me too much, as with all my other paid and voluntary work it is all about supporting all in our community – and that is how I see my Mayoral Role.
I had thought long and hard about my chosen charities and have narrowed them down to Papyrus and The Big C. I chose Papyrus, which is a special charity that supports the prevention of young suicide and supports those who are affected by suicide. I believe that suicide is something which is happening more, the effects are far reaching and people may not know what help is available.
My other chosen charity is the Big C, a Norfolk and Waveney charity – which supports those who are impacted by cancer. As a cancer survivor myself and someone who has lost family and friends from cancer, I wanted to reflect this in some way. I have also had some working knowledge of the Big C, after shadowing a benefits specialist in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital ensuring those affected by cancer know their rights and are in receipt of their benefits entitlements. I have liaised with medical professionals and am astounded by the work carried out. Should anyone need any further information or support, or wish to donate to either of these charities, please find the links below – https://papyrus-uk.org/ http://www.big-c.co.uk/
Continuing my work with the council, all the fantastic events to come this year (Diss Carnival was a highlight), connecting with local communities, making connections with other dignitaries, representing Diss at events, fundraising, working with fellow councillors and our hard working staff members of staff, without whom the council would not function. I am also looking forward to co-opting new councillors to our town council.
As I mentioned above I work with the Citizens advice and support people in crisis, I am debt specialist, DRO Intermediary, Mental Health Navigator, Domestic Abuse Champion and also work as a Consultant. I am a governor at our local high school sitting on the Curriculum Committee where I am the Responsible Officer.
I am also a part time law student, which helps to bring my knowledge and other experience together.
Any spare time I have leftover, I enjoy baking cakes for my family, friends and colleagues. I love to crochet and have made various blankets, cardigans, and scarves (I made a West Ham scarf a while back?!). l am quite artistic and love the arts and crafts. There is always music playing in my home and I love a good dance, I always try to be positive and believe that laughter is integral to who I am!
Wow, see above question. No two days are alike, I may be contacting or liaising with other councillors, supporting many aspects of the council, dealing with ongoing issues within the community. I work closely with the Carnival Committee, The Christmas Lights Committee, The Diss Youth Town Councillors and I can occasionally be seen helping to clean rubbish and planting seeds and plants in town. As Mayor I have the responsibility to chair full council meetings.
The community! I have met and spoken with many of our community and believe that there is such a great vibe and community feeling. Other things I love include our beautiful Mere, our local traders, our big businesses, The Cornhall, our events, our local community radio, our artisans, and all those who volunteer and make Diss the lovely place it is today! If I have forgotten anything or anyone – apologies. But there is so much I can say, I am very proud of our beautiful town and her community.
The Town Council welcomed Dave Poulter as its newest councillor at its June meeting. Dave was co-opted by fellow councillors for his knowledge and experience across many sectors including British Rail, the NHS, his own Project Management consultancy, Local Authorities, Housing Associations & Developers.
‘I believe that my working life has provided me with a broad range of skills and experience that would be of benefit to the Council and I welcome the opportunity to give something back to the community.
I will bring with me a background in consultation and negotiation, commercial, financial, design and risk management, which I hope will add to the experience of existing councillors. I moved to Diss two years ago with my wife, am now retired, and ready to give what I can to the Diss community.’
The role of Town Councillor is voluntary, and we are seeking new councillors to fill the six remaining vacancies. If you’re passionate about the town, want to do your bit for your community & meet the eligibility criteria, please visit www.diss.gov.uk/roleofacouncillor to find out more.
For those interesting in standing for District or Parish elections, the election timetable starts next week.
If candidates need help with electoral numbers for their nomination forms, please call the Elections Team on 01508 533704.
Nominations for the elections can be start to be submitted from 9am next Wednesday 20 March. Informal nomination checks will be provided during the nomination period.
They must be received by the deadline of 4pm on 3 April; however we recommend candidates submit them earlier rather than too close to the deadline, when there may not be time to rectify problems.
Forms must be hand delivered between 9am & 4pm on working days between 20 March and 3 April, to the Council offices at South Norfolk Council Offices, Cygnet Court, Long Stratton, NR15 2XE
Nomination forms can be downloaded from https://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/residents/elections-and-registration/current-elections
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We will be updating this page as we progress through the election timetable, including election notices ( Notice of election, Statement of persons nominated etc)
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