Mayor’s Musings: Working together will help support our town

Watton High Street. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Watton High Street. Picture: Rebecca Murphy - Credit: Archant

This week's mayor's musings come from the mayor of Watton, Tina Kiddell.

Mayor of Watton Tina Kiddell. Picture: Mark Bunning Photography, Watton

Mayor of Watton Tina Kiddell. Picture: Mark Bunning Photography, Watton - Credit: Archant

My last few months of being mayor of Watton are flying by. So much work to be done and so little time. I have been incredibly busy the last month with many meetings and getting out and about.

The whole council in fact is working incredibly hard to collate all the neighbourhood plan questionnaires and to keep up with the day to day running of our town.

We are trying our best to get Watton's name as far and wide as we can. There are funding streams out there and I would like to see Watton on the list for some much-needed money to improve our high street.

It was this that drove us to have a meeting late in January to gather as many local businesses together in one room to try and help each other, to brainstorm ideas and to try and move Watton forward. It was chaired by George Freeman and I.

Our MP is very keen on pushing for infrastructure in our town and is well aware of our lack of it.

The meeting was a resounding success with over 30 people all together talking about ideas for the town.

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This is a partnership between many businesses to work with the council and our MP to push ourselves forward. We are calling it Watton Working Together.

Think what we can achieve if we all pull in the same direction, I for one, am very excited with this development for our town.

There has been much speculation about a skate park/pump track here in Watton. This has been an ongoing project for many years with several attempts to bring it to fruition.

For one reason or another, previous applications did not come about with an end result. Like a dog with a bone Watton Town Council will not give the project up.

We are working closely with the Youth Advisory Board and looking at many different funding streams and as soon as we have a clear plan to put to the public, we will let you know.

It is as frustrating for us as it is for everyone that these things take so long with lots of red tape and hoops to jump through.

Our events lady at the town council Sue Dent is working very hard with council and many different groups within the town to promote and organise events to bring the community together.

If you have an event and would like it to be on the Facebook page that she runs, then please contact the office.

We hope that this simple way of talking to each other and sharing information will give us a good clear calendar of events throughout the year with no clashes.

We are very lucky in Watton in that we have so many groups for all ages, and many things to do. However, one thing that keeps cropping up, is that many of these groups are suffering from the lack of volunteers and sometimes struggling to survive.

With the amount of people, we now have living in Watton, nearly 8000, I would have thought that volunteers would have been in plentiful supply.

It is a shame if any group or event could not go on because of this, and I can only say that if you are new to the area and have some free time then pop in to the town hall or come and see me on the market stall every other Wednesday and I will point you in the right direction.

Helping out with these groups is very rewarding and a great way to make new friends.

Remember the elections are coming up at local and district level in May. This is your chance to throw your hat in the ring and become a councillor.

You must live or work within three miles of Watton to become a town councillor. It is a good way to speak for your town and to help shape it for future growth.

I have to say it is a very rewarding job although you don't get paid, it is a volunteering position. However, it is also an opportunity to learn new skills, and to help others.

Details are available from Breckland offices in Dereham.

There are many people in our town that have great ideas and voice them to me in one form or another, now is your chance to speak up for your town. What have you got to lose?

Don't forget to put in your diary the Watton open Garden and Yard sale on the weekend of the 15th and 16th June and the Antique Roadshow on the 7th July.