Annual report for Hempnall Parish Council, 19 March 2008


Chairman’s report


As another Parish Council year draws to a close, it is interesting to reflect on what we have spent our time on during the year.


At the negative end of the spectrum, we have inevitably spent much time responding to consultation opportunities relating to issues such as Norwich’s bid for a unitary status and the reorganisation of local government. I believe the overwhelming feeling of this council was the status quo was preferable on both counts but we are obliged to jump through the hoops of central government to facilitate their wonderful “initiatives”.


I am very pleased to report however that there have been many enjoyable duties and proud moments to compensate for the negatives sides of the business.


In November last year, we organised a reception and supper to give thanks to Roy Ladbrooke for his outstanding contribution to the village. This was attended by around 80 people with whom Roy had worked with over the years. The evening concluded with the presentation of a brass plaque which will be placed inside the Mill Centre.


We were very honoured to receive last September, the Quality Status Charter Mark, making us a “quality parish council”. This was most gratifying as we were only one of two councils in South Norfolk to receive this award, and one of only 12, out of the 512 councils in Norfolk. My thanks and congratulations go to Ian Nelson, our clerk, for his enthusiasm and professionalism in achieving this award for our parish council.


It is pleasing to see the additions and improvements to the children’s play areas in both Old Market Way and the playing field, I am sure this will be appreciated by both young people and their families.


It was sad to witness the closing of the Queens Head public house earlier this year and one hopes that this is only a temporary measure as the local pub is an incredibly important social component of village life.


After 26 years at the helm of the local shop, Larry and Elizabeth Rippingale retired from the business and we wish them well. Whilst the corporate image and style of the new owners have not met with universal approval, at least we still have a village store and for this we must be thankful. I just hope that our post office survives the closure programme due to be announced later this month.


I would like to register my sincere thanks to my colleagues on the council for their support, enthusiasm and banter over the year and as ever to Ian Nelson for his dedicated clerical  duties.