Anyone who was following the twitter feeds of the Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Councillors would have noticed that last week’s full council meeting was somewhat lively.
However this post is a direct consequence of Cllr Joyce’s comment that “even God has given up on Crimplesham. It’s church has closed its doors” which were helpfully reproduced as a headline in yesterday’s Lynn News.
Needless to say, the residents of Crimplesham are a little angry and disappointed by their new found fame. If Cllr Joyce is looking for examples of dead and godless villages, he’s not going to find one in Crimplesham. His comments were also factually incorrect – the church at Crimplesham holds services twice a month and has a regular congregation attend. I’m sure if Cllr Joyce would like to go and see for himself, he would be warmly welcomed.
His comments were in reference to the proposed Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) that would be applied to new developments at different rates, according to where in the Borough the development is. At council it was agreed that there should now be a consultation on the levy rates. It was not set in stone and anyone can comment on the proposal.
Cllr Joyce is concerned that developers will choose to develop on land that has a cheaper levy fee attached. However, if you take Crimplesham as an example once again – Crimplesham would be wholly inappropriate for large scale developments, as it is a small village with no real infrastructure. I know from attending Crimplesham Parish Council meetings that they would welcome small developments within the village and are concerned that the CIL may disadvantage small scale builders. However, they can take up this issue during the consultation period.
This does not mean that our small West Norfolk villages will become forgotten wastelands, there needs to be appropriate development in the appropriate places with the appropriate infrastructure in place.
Twice this week I’ve heard criticism that there is no community in the villages of my ward, this is simply untrue. Within these villages, particularly in Crimplesham, are a beating heart of village volunteers and Parish Councils who work very hard to improve their villages.
The village hall holds community events, the Parish Council are improving areas such as the bus shelter and playing field and as previously said, the church opens twice a month.
So perhaps Cllr Joyce would like to rethink his comment about Crimplesham and apologise to the residents. Publicly. At the next full council meeting.
I’d also like to invite anyone who lives in a village to attend a Parish Council meeting. Meet the stakeholders in your village, engage with them, find out how hard they work to improve things for you. You would be made very welcome and you may even get to meet your Borough & County Councillors as well. Then come back & tell me there’s no community and god has forsaken the village…..