Elections -All you need to know!

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

Please would you add the https://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/residents/elections-and-registration/current-elections  link to your website, to improve access to election information by electors and candidates within your parish and yourself.

We will be updating this page as we progress through the election timetable, including election notices ( Notice of election, Statement of persons nominated etc)

If you or candidates have any problems or require additional information please email elections@s-norfolk.gov.uk or phone 01508 533704.

Elections approaching in May!

Elections
• The next elections take place on 2nd May 2019. Diss will be represented by 14 Town Councillors from May.
• Councillors get involved in a variety of activities as well as making strategic decisions on behalf of its electorate. It’s a voluntary role but there are many benefits to being a councillor, not least the opportunity to have your say and make Diss a better place.
• If you’d like to make a difference in your community, click here.
• The deadline for completed nomination papers is Wednesday 3rd April.

Mere’s Mouth Toilets

Diss Town Council (DTC) welcomes the District Council’s reminder of the commitments made by both DTC and South Norfolk Council (SNC) in 2015. If given the opportunity, DTC will fulfil its obligation to take on responsibility for the Mere’s Mouth toilets when SNC has fulfilled its obligations under the same agreement.

The Town Council’s April decision was based solely on revised proposals put forward by SNC. This return to our mutual obligations made in 2015, effectively nullifies that April decision. The situation is further complicated by the existence of a lease between SNC & the landowner (Diss Parochial Charities).

SNC gave £400,000 towards the construction in the Heritage Triangle. The conditions of the money being granted were that it could only be spent on the Heritage Triangle project and required public toilets to be provided in the Cornhall and the tourist Information office to be moved from its kiosk site.

The Town Council has been budgeting for the maintenance of the Mere’s Mouth toilets with the full intention of fulfilling its obligations.

Two surveys commissioned by SNC lead them to conclude that their £80,000 budget was insufficient to rectify the identified structural problems and in their view the buildings were best demolished. DTC was offered the £80,000 to take on the refurbishment at their own risk. However, given that the experts at SNC had not identified the additional costs involved and were not prepared to take on the risk themselves, DTC concluded it was not appropriate to put that burden on the taxpayers of Diss.

We would be happy to meet with Kay Mason-Billig to clarify the points where she feels there is confusion and to move the process forward. We do feel it is high time that the community in Diss, including our MP, were made aware of the facts surrounding the Mere’s Mouth toilets.

DTC is very happy to “face up to its responsibilities” as Richard Bacon says. Perhaps he could also urge SNC to do the same.

Note

The full details of the 2015 agreement are available under a Freedom of Information request and DTC urges any interested parties to obtain a copy this way.

Diss Town Mayor raises £1068 for his chosen charities!

At last night’s Annual Meeting of Full Council, cheques were presented to the Diss Town Mayor’s chosen charities; Norwich Mind & Tearfund, both very close to his heart.

Both charities received £534 each from money raised at various events lead by the Town Mayor in his Mayoral year.

Pictured below: Andy Robertson from Tearfund and Sarah Ingram from Norwich Mind.

Cllr Trevor Wenman was also re-elected to continue his role as Diss Town Mayor for another year by his fellow Town Councillors.

Diss Town Council’s Element of Council Tax Increases from 1st April 2018

Diss Town Council were faced with another challenging budgetary decision this year. Our income from council tax has gone down by £63,000 over the last five years because of Government changes to the Council Tax benefit system.

Until last year we had tried to absorb that loss, but it became essential to phase in an above inflation increase over two years from April 2017 to plug this funding gap to continue to maintain our services.  The 13.6% increase from April 2018 works out on average at £22.35 for the year or £2.24 per month paid over 10 months. These figures are based on a Band D Council Tax household, which is the national criteria used for calculating Council Tax.

The recently completed £3.3M Heritage Triangle Project included a loan of £330,000 as the Town Council’s contribution to the project. This was a loan of a smaller amount than the £400,000 it was estimated it would have cost to make the Corn Hall watertight and deal with known structural issues, which would only have kept the building in its previous unregenerated form.

The regeneration and restoration of the Corn Hall could only be achieved through investment from other sources. The Heritage Lottery Fund was the only source that would provide the required level of funding but the Corn Hall on its own was not of sufficient heritage interest to them. The HLF would only consider projects that delivered real heritage benefits. The Corn Hall, the surrounding area and the boardwalk, which became known as the Heritage Triangle, was considered worthy of investment. Hence the Town Council’s £330K loan has achieved a further nearly £3M investment in Diss.

Full details of our budget can be found here