North Walsham residents vent anger at annual town meeting over tax hike, park misery and bus stops

North Walsham mayor Brenda West. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

North Walsham mayor Brenda West. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Residents vented their anger at North Walsham's annual town meeting, criticising town councillors on a range of local matters.

One man described the 42pc rise in its share of the council tax as a 'complete outrage' and told councillors to cancel some of their projects and 'live in the real world like the rest of us'.

Mayor Brenda West said it only amounted to an extra £1.66 per month and the cash would be used on projects considered to be very important for the town, such as more energy-efficient LED street lights which would result in savings.

Sums had also been set aside in case of unexpected expenses involved in the council's expected relocation, and for a possible Neighbourhood Plan which could have an important bearing on the town's future.

A New Road resident was furious at the council's decision to allow the Memorial Park to stay open 24 hours a day, all week.

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She said that at night youths smoked cannabis there, played football on the tennis courts, came into adjoining gardens to retrieve footballs, abusing and scaring householders, and on one occasion there had been a vehicle driving around, playing loud music.

The frustrated resident claimed she had written and emailed each councillor and the clerk about the problems but no-one had replied.

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Councillors agreed to discuss the matter at their next meeting. And a number of residents were concerned at bus stops on New Road and opposite Roys store which, they heard, dealt with about 30,000 passengers each month. There was general agreement that they were not big enough, that the town-centre New Road stop had no shelter and the pavement was too narrow.

Roger Hopkinson said pedestrians trying to pass the bus queues had to step into the busy road.

Shop owner Bob White wanted to know why nothing had been done to try and persuade Sanders bus company not to re-route some services out of Market Place where pavements were wider and better lit.

The switch had also been bad news for Market Place traders as many passengers no longer boarded or alighted there, he added.

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