A recent AGM held in Church House, saw aboutDereham celebrate its sixth anniversary. The following are some observations raised at the meeting –

“Over the years, we have asked members about what our priorities should be. This year, we found they fell into these categories. 

Ideas around what aboutDereham does or should do include promoting aboutDereham, acting as a catalyst and to set up sub-groups, for example a food group.

A very popular idea mentioned multiple times was for some kind of centre in the town. The possibility of a shop front was discussed to promote our community organisations, to host a heritage centre and maybe to act as a community centre with a multi-faith room and possibly showers and loos. Engagement and awareness raising were also mentioned as important, with more notices and noticeboards, or a big screen. People said we should all “put a positive spin on the town” and “We want people and 
organisations of Dereham to be proud of Dereham”.

Unsurprisingly, many people proposed a pedestrianised market place and getting the buses out of the market place, getting more independent shops and cafes in the town centre (not just charity shops) and improving the food offer in the town centre. There were also calls for more bins and better toilets.

On transport and traffic, some people wanted more and improved rural bus routes, rail links into the town and road improvements, better cycle-ways, fewer potholes and one call for a running track. Someone asked about the town traffic study.

Some of the discussion revolved around strategy and vision, asking if there is a strategic plan and what progress there has been on the Dereham Town Delivery Plan. People also asked for more openness from all of the councils and more consultation, not a top-down approach to change. Send any comments to hello@aboutdereham.org

Several organisations provide free or low-cost food for people in need. To discuss how this might be co-ordinated in the future, contact jennifer.barwise@salvationarmy.org.uk”

(Source: aboutDereham)