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News - January to March 2002

BUS PLEA

The village is concerned at the lack of a direct bus service to the new Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

The new hospital has been built a couple of miles from the village but is difficult to get to for people without their own transport. Previously the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital had been situated in Norwich with a bus link from the village.

Despite the fact that the hospital is visible from the windows of some houses in the village, a trip by public transport involves taking one bus into the city centre and then another out to the hospital.

South Norfolk District Councillor Jacqueline Sutton, who represents the village, has been contacted by a number of parishioners complaining about the lack of a direct service from both Hethersett and Wymondham. It is likely that a campaign will now be launched to obtain a direct service.

"It is quite urgent because a lot of people have moved to Hethersett to be near the new hospital. Now they've found that if they live here they cannot get to it by bus, unless they go via the city centre and that can be an horrendous journey in the morning. In addition hospital staff can be left hanging around in the city waiting for buses out to Hethersett after long and late shifts," Jacqueline Sutton said.

The problem has also meant roads around Hethersett are becoming more congested.

A spokesman for First Bus Company has said that they are still assessing the needs and counting passenger numbers. Which seems a good comment in the light that service buses to the village are still turning up late, not turning up at all or turning up full so that local residents cannot get on them.

It would seem timely for the Government once again to re-emphasise its commitment to a good public transport service. After all they are continually making life more difficult for the beleaguered motorist without coming up with any reasonable alternative to using private transport.

The present bus service to the village has already brought forth numerous complaints from residents.

Park and Ride Delay

The above situation is not helped by news that the proposed park and ride scheme on the outskirts of the village will not now start until the end of the year at the earliest.

The park and ride will be situated near to the Thickthorn roundabout with a shuttle bus operating into Norwich. Now nearby landowners are considering objecting to the scheme. Norfolk County Council is canvassing the opinion of South Norfolk District Council. If the district council recommends the plan goes ahead, the county council will seek a compulsory purchase order to buy the land. But objectors can still force the plan to go before a public enquiry.

A previous application for the site two years ago was thwarted by nearby businesses objecting to the location of a roundabout. Those plans have now been amended and there is a feeling that the idea could become a reality as park and ride schemes are planned to ring Norwich.

LATE NEWS: The scheme has now been given the go-ahead on land between the A11 and B1172. Access will be from the B1172 by a new roundabout.

Horses for Courses

Elsewhere on this site, you can read about the classic winning racehorse Hethersett which triumphed in the St Leger many years ago.

Quantica is unlikely to ever reach those standards but it has already started wining ways. The Horse is named after the healthcare firm Quantica which has offices in the village. It has already notched up two victories - the latest after starting 5-2 favourite in the Welcome to Nottingham Racecourse Nursery Handicap at Nottingham.

The two year old has run six times and also won at Redcar. Quantica was bought in April for 16,000 guineas by a syndicate.

School Successes

Students at Hethersett High School have met with success  again both inside and outside the classroom. Head Marian Chapman reported on an outstanding year at the school's annual prizegiving and GCSE awards evening.

Jennifer Excell received nine A star grades and two As in her GCSEs while Anna Mellows was awarded a medal by an examination board for receiving the top mark in the country for GCSE in physical education.

Jennifer Excell received the Governors' Trophy for outstanding academic achievement from the Rev Di Lammas who presented the prizes. Elena Brown received the Lions' Shield for community service and Emma Forster the Darren Hendry Cup for outstanding progress.

The Head's cup for service to the school went to wheelchair-bound Jonathan Moore who had given the whole year group "a greater understanding of perseverance and determination.

In addition to their academic work, the pupils produced their own Leavers Book with individual photos of each student and their activities during the year. They also organised a leavers' prom.

Helping to Save Lives

A presentation at Norfolk Fire Headquarters in Hethersett could help save lives in the future.

A new super water carrier - capable of carrying twice as much water as existing pumps - was handed over.

Costing 160,000, the new machine will be able to carry 13,000 litres of water and 1,000 litres of foam to a fire anywhere in the county.

"It's a vital piece of Norfolk's fire fighting capability and will help ensure Norfolk's firefighters are properly equipped to deal with a variety of larger fires," said Chief Fire Officer Richard Elliot.

The British-built vehicle is made by Angloco and is also fitted with a sophisticated pump which can shoot water out at a rate of 4,500 litres per minute.

Photographs of the Village

Photographs of the village taken in January 2002 can be viewed by Clicking Here

New Bungalows

Plans have been put forward to build three new homes on the site of the old Jet Petrol station on the road to Wymondham.

New Queen

The Queen's Head public house in the village is no more. The listed building is shut down as a pub at the beginning of the year and is being completely re-furbished and will re-open as a family restaurant.

A number of dilapidated outbuildings have been pulled down and building is well advanced.

Panto Antics

The annual pantomime at the Village Hall was as much fun as ever.

Sinbad the Sailor provided a colourful spectacle for all the family and once again played to packed houses every night during its week's run in January. It was writer Duncan Pigg's 33rd consecutive pantomime and what it lacked in polish and plot was more than made up for in sparkle and wit.

Football Appeal

The successful Hethersett Athletic Football Club is certainly not resting on its laurels as the current season reaches its climax.

With the men's first team looking likely to take its third consecutive league title and the men's third team in line for promotion, it has been another successful year for the club which was founded 11 years ago by Mel Perkins.

The youth, women's and girls sides have also had excellent seasons and this will be reflected at the club's annual presentation evening to be held in May.

The club is already looking for new players of all ages for next season. "Our aim is to provide football for all ages from eight to adult. This season we are running 11 sides and we would like to continue the club's development next season," said club chairman Peter Steward.

"Every week we provide organised football for up to 150 and this season the Under-13s have set a club scoring record when they beat Cromer 21-1.

The club is also applying for much prized charter status. This is a national mark of excellence awarded by the Football Association. The club also has its own web site with reports and statistics. Go to this by Clicking Here.

Meanwhile Mel Perkins spoke to the local newspaper The Hethersett Mercury about his involvement with the club:

"My father ran a team in the 50s and I played in the early 60s for the Hethersett Sunday side and my son started playing at the age of 11," he said.

The club has always relied heavily on loyalty with some of the original players still playing.

"I formed a junior Under-12 side in 1991 to give the village boys a game, because I felt they weren't getting a chance to play. Three or four of those lads are now in the adults' reserve side and some have made over 200 appearances. We are one of the only clubs in Norfolk to have teams for men, women, boys and girls and over 80% of our players are from Hethersett or the immediate surrounding areas and another 10% come from the village schools' catchment area.

Recently the club received a 5,000 Sport England development grant for equipment.

Track Re-Surfacing

Hethersett Hawks cycle speedway club will be re-surfacing their track on the Memorial Playing Field in readiness for the 2002 season. This has been made possible following a 300 grant from Hethersett Parish Council.

The club is also hoping to have portable floodlights for pre-season training. Last season the club won both local youth leagues, were runners-up in the British and Junior League and finished ninth in the European Club Championships.

Awards presented included: Top scorer, Nick Bedson; Best newcomer, Scott Levirington; Most Improved Junior, Leigh Cossey; Clubman of the Year, Dave Veness. Marc Veness was chosen as sportsman of the year. Awards were presented by Ray Milne who is a parish councillor and also a member of the Memorial Playing Field Committee.

Club under-13 champion Nick Myhill and Lawrie Bedson raised over 100 for Children in Need by cycling 80 laps of the village to complete 100 miles. It took them 13 hours.

 

Playing Field Improvements

The car park on the Memorial Playing Field has been re-surfaced and a footpath is to be put into place to Woodside School. In addition a new seat and shelter has been put in place on the field following a request from the youth parish council.

There are now plans for a new 200,000 pavilion on the playing field to replace the inadequate facilities that exist at present. The parish council has approved plans in principle and the project will be financed by grants. Ray Milne is in charge of the project. In addition the footpath along the side of the field from Recreation Road to Ketts Close has been improved with better lighting installed. It is hoped that this will deter vandals.  Residents are being urged to report any damage to the police.

In addition to the above the trees at the Recreation Road boundary have been cut back

Hethersett in Bloom

It is hoped that the village will be even more colourful this year as the country celebrates the Golden Jubilee of the Queen. Garden and hanging basket competitions will be held again as part of Hethersett in Bloom 2002. The parish council will be putting up hanging baskets on the telegraph poles in Great Melton Road and sponsors are being sought.

Environmental Action

Hethersett has a keen environmental action group whose aim is to ensure the village stays tiday. The groups latest work includes pruning trees outside the Priory close to the King's Head and a litter pick.

Where Does the Money Go?

The parish council will spend money on the following items from its 2002/2003 budget. The total spending will be 77,425. The council has requested a precept of 71,425 from the district council with the remainder being financed from existing funds.

Staffing

16,765

Establishment/Audit

6,100

Handbook 2003

500

Newsletter

450

Loan Repayment

1,710

Special Parish Constable

250

Village Grass Cutting

1,200

Street Lighting - Energy and Maintenance

6,500

Memorial Playing Field

6,000

Memorial Playing Field car park and footpath

12,000

Memorial Playing Field Tree Trimming

2,500

Churchyard Grass Cutting

2,200

Village Hall Land/Car Park

1,400

Youth Club

2,000

Youth Club - Norfolk Youth Club Service

1,200

Youth Club project

5,000

Youth Parish Council

250

Cricket Club

400

Charitable Donations

1,500

Environmental Fund

500

Amenity Equipment Fund

2,000

General Car Park Fund

3,000

Recreational Equipment Fund

2,000

Capital Expenditure

1,000

Miscellaneous

1,000

Skating Success

The Youth Parish Council's plans for a BMX/skatepark on a field next to the village hall are progressing well. Already 60% of the necessary funding has been raised and further grant applications are also in. It is hoped to have the park completed by April. The youth parish council has said goodbye to founder members Vicki Poole, Sam West and Alison Utting. Matthew Bond, Chris Sweryda and Dean Bowden have joined and there are other vacancies on the body which represents the youth of the village and which is open to those aged between 13 and 21.

Historical Hethersett

A new book on the History of Hethersett is being produced by Hethersett Society. An appeal has gone out to residents for their memories of the past including old photographs and artifacts. The book will be illustrated and should be available by Christmas

Planning Refusal

A planning application for over 90 houses on land off Myrtle Road has been rejected by the district council. The parish council objected to the plans on the grounds that the site is outside the approved development boundary and the access is unsuitable.

IN SHORT

Norfolk County Council has turned down suggestions to provide a barrier at the end of the path from the playing field which joins Churchfields footpath. The council does not consider a barrier to prevent collisions between pedestrians and cyclists/skaters to be necessary.

Colney Lane has been put back on the county council priority winter gritting schedule after complaints about its exclusion.

Hethersett Parish Council is attempting to bring in 20 mph restrictions to the main routes of the village. Queen's Road, Henstead Road, Great Melton Road and Firs Road are being investigated. The council is also looking into the possibility of placing speed reactive signs in Churchfields, New Road and Queen's Road to increase compliance with speed limits.

A firm of consultants has been appointed by South Norfolk District Council to look into the need of a car park in the village.

The scheme to provide a footpath on existing parts of Great Melton Road without one has been included in the county council's footway programme for the financial year 2003/04