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Downham Town Council discusses ideas on spening West Norfolk Council’s CIL funding

New gym facilities and sheltered seating areas are among the ways councillors plan to make use of a funding application.

Members of Downham Town Council put forward a number of suggestions as to how the town should make use of West Norfolk Council’s CIL funding.

This cash is available twice a year, and goes towards groups and organisations looking to deliver infrastructure to benefit residents and businesses.

Downham Town Council met on Tuesday evening
Downham Town Council met on Tuesday evening

At Tuesday night’s full council meeting at Downham’s town hall, Cllr Valerie Leivers suggested putting the money towards installing adult gym equipment in the town.

This came after a bid to do so under the The Platinum Jubilee Fund was rejected – but councillors admitted that application was never likely to succeed.

Cllr Justin Lewis agreed that the council should “go ahead with the gym scheme and see where it goes”, and a unaminous vote formally approved that idea.

The council discusses ways that CIL funding could be spent in the town
The council discusses ways that CIL funding could be spent in the town

Cllr Daniel Jordan and Cllr Eve Tawfick also suggested putting the funding towards the town’s Jubilee Community Centre, with the former suggesting the boxing club in particular could benefit.

Cllr Tawfick said: “I think facilities like that are very lacking in the town.

“I think we need to work at improving it.”

And Cllr Alisha Buxton said the money could be used to provide more covered seating areas in Downham – namely “somewhere members of the public could go for a considerable amount of time”.

“A lot of people, my husband one of them, he isn’t able to get around quickly,” she said.

“He needs somewhere to stop – just somewhere where someone like him could go, stop for half an hour, and carry on.”

Cllr Anna Incorvaia added that she feels some of the current benches in place “let the town down”.

Downham mayor Cllr John Doyle urged the council to “march on” and complete a Neighbourhood Plan for the town, which could see the amount of CIL funding it receives double.

  • Delivering a report at the meeting, Cllr Anthony Maurice – who represents Downham on Norfolk County Council – said he has received “several complaints” about overgrown hedges on Prince Henry Way.
  • However, he told councillors that there may be problems in trimming them back because they could belong to the town’s sixth form school.

    Cllr Maurice suggested asking the town’s Rangers to cut the bushes, but town council clerk Calire Dornan said if they fall under the county council’s highways department’s jurisdiction, that request would be rejected.

    Cllr Doyle said: “It definitely needs clearing” – and a member of the public added: “It has always been a problem.”

    Concerns were also raised about an “overgrown” hedge at the town fire station on Ryston Close, with Cllr Justin Lewis saying that it is now encroaching two feet into the path.

    Cllr Maurice said he will “see if I can get my people to trim some of these”.

  • Cllr Stephen Moyses asked borough councillor Joshua Osborne to look into installing a fully operational pedestrian crossing opposite the Bridge Street car park.
  • He said: “It looks like one but it is not one, and there are nearly accidents every week there.”

    Cllr Moyses added that drivers and pedestrians, particularly elderly residents, are frequently “confused” by the traffic arrangements in place.

  • Councillors also discussed proposals to shape a Downham cycling and walking route plans survey.
  • The town council’s deputy mayor, Cllr Charlie Pyatt, said he has previously cycled from the town to Lynn and back, going through the likes of Watlington and Magdalen, to try and find the “safest” route.

    Cllr Anna Incorvaia said that as an “avid cyclist and walker”, she would be happy to join Cllr Pyatt in shaping the plans.

    Councillors approved the duo taking the project forward.

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