Buttercross - February 1

Have your say

As I am writing this article it seems that the icy cold spell that we have been experiencing is now ended and thank goodness for that.

This may be a good time to take stock of our town council’s pavement gritting scheme.

I attended the initial meeting our town clerk Richard Bishop called before Christmas when we all needed to put plans in place on how the scheme was to work over this winter, and drawing on last year’s experiences.

Further equipment was purchased, with councillors’ approval, to try to expand the scheme.

But the first snow came overnight into a Monday morning and, unfortunately, the first volunteers to respond at the town hall were thin on the ground.

Nevertheless, and with the excellent assistance of town council staff, the town centre pavements were gritted and made safer that morning.

It must be obvious to all that if the scheme is to be fully effective, and snow falls on a weekday, more volunteers are needed.

It seems that plenty of younger folk are available at weekends but weekday efforts fall to the older generation.

The most efficient way to clear snow is before it is walked on which means getting to it early, not easy with only a few bodies.

An added problem is that some townspeople have been raiding certain grit bins to salt their own paths and driveways, and not always in that same area.

Transport was used to raid one bin in the Paddocks area.

It was made clear at the outset of the scheme that grit and salt, provided by Norfolk County Council, was for use on public footpaths only.

Because of this misuse, the bins provided at Orford Road and Adastral Place have been removed, in effect, ending gritting and salting of pavements in those areas.

What an annoyance that is, particularly for older people in those locations.

On another subject, particularly close to my heart, it is pleasing to report that we appear to be near to having a strong and effective committee to manage and run the Myer’s Playing Field.

This is the main sports field where the cricket club play their matches, as do the bowls club.

It also provides overspill pitches for the football club.

For the last few years, the trustees for this valuable asset have had to manage the field as the previous committee fell away.

The field was generously given to the town for sports use in the early 1950s.

With hands-on management of the facility looking positive again, the trustees may soon be able to take a back seat, leaving them to monitor matters. They deserve a break.

Discouraging dog walkers from using this sports field is an important issue.

Notices requesting they stay off the field have been put up and most have obeyed the signs but unfortunately some have not. The field may need to be fenced and gated in the not-too-distant future to ensure that it is used for sports only on a good clean grassed surface.

Anyone taking issue with any such decision will have the opportunity to air their views at the annual meeting in June, the actual date for which will be announced soon.