The following is a report given by Fiona Bradford (Chair) at the Annual Parish Meeting of Scarning Parish Council on April 11th 2022.

“This Report covers the activities of the Parish Council over the last 12 months.

Following Chris Farnham standing down as Chair of the Council it was a pleasure to be appointed to the position.  During the year Councillors Chris Druce, Ian Semmons and Neil Parsons, resigned with Melanie Blackburn, Cathy Geary and Tina Mallard being appointed.  The Council is at full strength with each Councillor bringing differing experiences and strengths which are utilised for the benefit of the Parish. The Councillors undertook a tour of the Parish to view its varying assets, and this was extremely beneficial to both new and long-standing members of the Council.

The business of the Council over the course of a year can in some ways be anticipated and all the usual activities have been undertaken, with Standing Orders, policies and procedures having been reviewed and if necessary, amended and various risk assessments having been carried out.  The budget for the current year was reviewed and discussed, resulting in the precept remaining the same as the year just gone.

There are also issues which arise each year for the Council to consider and last year was no exception, there was the parking at the school, speeding through the Parish, the state of the path and the hedges running from Blackthorn Close to the School.  The Council has been pro-active in trying to tackle these issues and we have, and will continue to work closely with, the relevant agencies in order for improvements to be made.
During the year we have seen the establishment of a Speed Watch Group, its volunteers are fully trained and within the first few weeks of the Group being in action a number of drivers have been caught speeding.  The Group works closely with the Police, and we are very thankful for the time that the volunteers give to carry out this activity.

The Parish in the last year has seen some new additions such as a bus shelter by the Village Hall, LED lighting, together with play equipment in both the Blackthorn Drive and Shipdham Lane playing fields.  New welcome to Scarning signs have been erected which include the Beacon logo and very smart they look too.  The signs are complimented by our flower boxes which are lovely and the Council thanks Sharon Goldsworthy for the effort she puts in to ensure they are maintained.

The Beacon magazine has gone from strength to strength with its content being educational, informative and witty.  It is also able to raise funds which are distributed to appropriate charities as voted upon by its readers.  Many thanks to Chris Farnham for his commitment to the magazine.  
Litter picks have been carried out during the year and it is so encouraging to see the number of volunteers who turn up for these events and they are bolstered by the Dereham group joining us.  Again, thanks to all those who have picked their way through the Parish and also to those who continue to litter pick on a regular basis.

The Council has organised defibrillator and mini first aid courses which are open to all and held in the Village Hall we will continue to do so on a six-month basis for as long as a need remains.
We saw our first externally organised Maui Waui Festival in August which brought with it both e-mails of concern and praise, the Parish Council has no actual involvement with the event other than to try and ensure that the interests and concerns of the Parish are understood by its co-ordinators.
We have seen the instigation of the Bright ideas for Scarning forum whereby the Council receives e-mails with suggestions for the improvement of the Parish and its amenities, these are considered and where possible taken forward.  This is an ongoing project to which the Council is committed.

In December last year the Council was presented with a plaque by a representative of the Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk to commemorate our community’s resilience in the year to the pandemic.  The plaque will be displayed in the Village Hall.

In relation to the Queen’s Jubilee the Council has two events planned the lighting of the beacon and the holding of a big tea, many thanks to all those who are and will help to make these events a success.

A Council works as a team endeavouring to do the best that it can for the community, and I would like to thank the Breckland Council and Norfolk County Council’s representatives for their input and assistance to the Parish Council over the last year and obviously the Council’s thanks go to the Clerk, Nick Hartley who ensures that decisions are enacted and that the Council works within its guidelines which is no small task.”

Fiona Bradford – Chair of Scarning Parish Council