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by michael - 22:28 on 25 February 2015
The Village Hall was packed. Very nearly 60 people crowded into the hall this evening to learn more about the possible formation of a Residents Association and how it might be of help when it comes to ensuring that local views are taken into account particularly in respect of planning applications but also on other matters that might have significant impact on the village.
Peter Brown, a resident of Stow Bedon, kindly came along and related his experiences and indeed successes of various resident associations that he had been part of when living in Surrey. Also present was Phil Cowen. Phil is currently the elected Breckland Councillor responsible for Stow Bedon but after the elections in May will, if re-elected, be responsible for Caston. Phil explained how Residents Associations can be of value to local communities and how they can bring matters of importance to local residents, before the district council.
Nearly 50 of those present placed there names on the list as being interested in membership and of these 11 offered their services for committee work which is a fantastic start.
There is no doubt that it's all very easy to sit back and do nothing - let others get on with the work. But if you care about your village and the environment in which you live then you might care to add your weight to the membership of a Residents Association (RA). The fact is that 50 members will have some weight when the RA puts a case before both the Parish Council and Breckland Councillors. But imagine how much stronger that case would be if the RA represented 100 members!
Membership of the RA won't be free. There are expenses to cover such as hall hire for meetings, electricity, a certain amount of travel but everything will be accounted for. So how much for membership? Well the committee at its first meeting will no doubt decide that but I would not expect it to be more than £5.00 per annum and the very next planning development project might be the one that affects you.
So, if you haven't already done so please consider membership. At this stage we do not require money. Just your name and email address. Please feel free to email me email@example.com or telephone 01953 488 477.
Also if you have a view in support or otherwise why not tell us. Just add your comments below. I won't publish anything sent to me anonymously but I will hold back your email address if you make it clear in your comment that it is not to be published.
(That's done - thank you)
Already they feel there is a need to know what the residents of Caston are thinking. They understand that a residents association is the voice of local people.
Not all development is bad and a residents association should show support for good development but at the same time it should vigorously object to poorly thought out development that changes the basic character and form of the village and adversly affects the lives of those living here.
(Thank You - Brian)
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