Annual Report

Annual Town Meeting – Town Mayor’s Report 2022

“This year marks the 128th Anniversary for Sprowston Town Council, which was established on 14 December 1894 following a change in legislation to move all non-ecclesiastical functions from church parish councils to local elected bodies which became known as “parish councils”

The Council currently consists of fifteen unpaid councillors representing the four wards across the town, elected to serve a four-year term

During 2021 we welcomed two new Councillors to our team, Councillors Glen Tingle and Karen Vincent.

With regards to the environment, in its efforts to improve biodiversity, mitigate climate change and enhance our natural environment the Council has embarked on a number of initiatives including the planting of a mini-forest at Sprowston Recreation Ground and mixed, native hedgerow at the Diamond Field on School Lane. Both events were open to the community and extremely well supported.  We have also approved 9 applications to participate in our pilot rewilding scheme on two roads in Sprowston and have 2 waiting to be processed.

Following the acquisition of the former Viking Public House / Bengal Restaurant on Tills Road, public drop-in sessions were held in January giving residents an opportunity to put forward their ideas and suggestions for future uses of the building. Lots of positive comments were received on the proposed plans for re-development with particular support for a social community space and café.

Work to convert the premises is due to start in the Autumn to coincide with receipt of Community Infrastructure payments to pay for the redevelopment.

Council has commented on over 52 planning applications ranging from pigeon coops to large scale housing developments.

We have continued to make representations to other authorities on behalf of our local residents on issues such as footpaths, highways, dog fouling, litter and anti-social behaviour.

As to our parks and open spaces in addition to general routine maintenance a new multi play unit was successfully installed at Sparhawk park and has been well used and proving very popular.

A new gate was also installed at Barkers Lane open space to make the corner adjacent the Cricket Club and busy roadway more secure for all users.

Negotiations with Broadland District Council and developers are ongoing for the provision of a skatepark, MUGA, under 7’s football pitch, car park and other play equipment at the White House Farm development open space.

Council has appointed an additional member of staff to the new post of Compliance and Administration officer, responsible for play equipment inspections, administering planned maintenance and servicing schedules and general administration duties.

Sprowston Diamond Centre gradually reopened following closure during the pandemic and is now a thriving centre with a diverse range of activities on offer from hip hop dance to sewing classes.

Turning to financial matters in December the Council approved the 2022/23 budget and precept.

The total agreed expenditure budget was £743,973.00 the precept was agreed at a 2.55% increase on Band D tax rate and 5% on the total precept.

The Town Council has continued to support local community groups and good causes which much needed funding and given £22,864.00 in grants. Beneficiaries include:

Sprowston Methodist Church – £200.00

Norfolk Citizens Advice Bureau – £500.00

The Royal British Legion – £100.00

Sprowston Youth Engagement Project – £6,000.00

Sprowston Youth Engagement Project (Outreach Worker) – £16,064.00

The Council has continued to support SYEP outreach programme to reduced anti-social behaviour in our parks and provide educational experiences for young people.

Looking ahead I am pleased to report:

  • the return of our monthly cinema at Sprowston Diamond Centre on Monday 9 May 2022 with the screening of Spencer.
  • The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee beacon lighting event and picnic due to be held at St. Mary and St. Margaret’s Church on Thursday 2 June at 9.00pm accompanied by Sprowston and Hellesdon brass band.
  • and the summer fete taking place on Saturday 23 July 2022. We hope you all come and support us.

There were so many things that I could report, but the list above demonstrates the wide range and extent of the works carried out by the Town Council. Please do let us know if there are areas within our responsibility that you feel could be improved or changed. If you are interested to understand more of how or what we are doing, then you can go to our website, Facebook page or even pop along to one of our meetings where there is an opportunity to discuss items on the agenda or request something to be considered at a future meeting.

Finally, I would like to thank Councillors for volunteering their time and our Town Clerk and staff for all the hard work they have put in behind the scenes over the past 12 months.”