On Dec 5th, 14 members gathered at the Foldgate Inn for their Christmas meal. The pre-ordered choices were delivered piping hot, if a little large on portion size, but everyone enjoyed them.
No official minutes were read, but Mrs Armsby reminded the members who are down for Jan rotas, and everyone to bring a wrapped raffle prize.
Birthday cards were given to Sheila Smith & Valerie Kirchen. There will be two in Jan.
Hazel Hearne presented Mrs Armsby with a huge Poinsettia, and other committee members with wrapped parcels. Gillian Smith thanked them all for their work during the year.
Jean Carter issued an invitation from Beachamwell WI for our members to attend their meeting on the following evening, when there will be entertainment from “West End Waiters”.
Mrs Armsby then passed round a proposed programme for 2019, which had been put together with ideas from several different members. This will be given to Janet Cooper, whose husband Mike has kindly agreed to print it for us once again.
The first meeting will be on Jan 2nd at the Community Centre. It’s Quiz Night, & any visitors will be most welcome at £2 a head. For everyone else subs will be due.
The very pleasant evening ended at 9.30 with everyone wishing each other a very happy Christmas.
Claire Lankfer

Stoke Ferry Neighbourhood Plan

The Stoke Ferry Neighbourhood Plan has been launched, following the decision by the Parish Council to start on the voyage. A group of volunteers from Stoke Ferry has taken up the responsibility for doing all the hard work. The real work has started on the first part of the voyage with the view of discovering what the community wants from the Neighbourhood Plan and to ascertain whether or not other adjacent communities wish to join with Stoke Ferry in the creation of a joined-up plan for a larger part of West Norfolk. In next door Brecklands, the policy has been to set up hub and satellite communities. What is good enough for the people of the Brecklands is good enough for the folk of West Norfolk.
There are several advantages to a joined up approach, the most notable of which are on the shared load, the shared costs, the increased financial contributions and the increased probability that regional government and services like the NHS will provide more of the services we all need. To this end the following parishes have been sent an invitation to join with Stoke Ferry:
· Boughton
· Northwold and Whittington
· Oxborough
· Wereham
· West Dereham
· Wretton
The working group is still trying to establish how much additional funding will be made available and has requested guidance. In terms of a timeline, it takes about 2 years and longer from start to finish to get a Neighbourhood Plan accepted. Once it has been accepted, following the appropriate local election on its proposals, the terms and conditions have the protection of law, meaning that it is a foolhardy planning authority that ignores what the local electorate has selected.
For those who are asking why it is important to have a Neighbourhood Plan, it will exist to control the types of properties and business premises that will be permitted in Stoke Ferry and determine the zones of the parish that can be used for the different types of development as well as the zones that will be protected for leisure and amenity. This is important in the context of the statements made in public by planners that it is expected that the smaller communities in West Norfolk will be expected to double in size in terms of house unit quantities by 2030.
As the working party has only just started its work there is no email address or web-site yet. These will be made available as soon as feedback has been received from the adjacent parishes. We hope to be able to publish this contact information as early as possible. As a temporary measure only, people who wish to join in the effort to make the Neighbourhood Plan a success in any way they want should send an email in the first place Once the admin team is up and running properly there will be a different email address and a web-site. It has not been decided yet if there will be a Facebook page, but there will no Twitter and no Instagram. Until funds are available there will not be a telephone number and until agreed there will be no postal address, but we hope to have a physical location for the delivery of correspondence in the near future.

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Minutes of the meeting held on Nov 7th
Mrs Armsby welcomed 13 members.
APOLOGIES were received from Valerie Kirchen, Heather Durrance, Audrey Hudson & Joy Beckett.
Minutes of the previous meeting were read & signed.
CORRESPONDENCE- Peter Thorpe wrote to thank us for our contribution to his fundraising in memory of his late wife. A final total of £1600 was presented to Gayton ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
An email from Ray Thompson gave details of the Christmas Extravaganza to be held at Stoke Ferry village hall on Sat Dec 22nd. Several members were interested in attending.
Yvonne Self agreed to deliver Joy Beckett’s birthday card. Two will be needed for Dec.
Mrs Armsby reminded members to fill in the order form with their meal options, & pay in advance if possible. Mrs Hearne confirmed that arrival would be 6.45 for 7pm start.
Mrs Elsey thanked everyone who had knitted poppies for the Armistice weekend displays.
JAN ROTAS were decided, to avoid doing business at the restaurant.
TEAS-Jean Carter & Yvonne Self. DOOR & RAFFLE- Wendy Quadling & Joy Beckett.
There will be the usual raffle in Jan, for which everyone was reminded to bring a wrapped prize.
There being no other business , the AGM followed.
Treasurer’s report. Mrs Elsey circulated copies of the annual accounts. She said that the overall loss of £101.48 was due to lower attendance numbers & rising cost of speakers, although Mrs Cooper had kept these to a minimum. Members voted to keep subs at £15, & teas & raffles as they were for another year.
Secretary’s report. Mrs Lankfer said that the group had 18 members in2018, with an average monthly attendance of15. There had been a varied programme of speakers, a flower demonstration & an antiques quiz. The events committee had organised 2 social suppers & a lovely outing to Stamford, & afternoon tea on a cruise around Rutland water. It was another good year under the firm leadership of Mrs Armsby.
Mrs Armsby then thanked all the officers for their help, but said that it would be nice to increase our membership for the coming year, if possible.
Chairman: Mrs Armsby had agreed to stand again, & was unanimously approved.
The remaining officers were persuaded to carry on, with Mrs Horgen joining them as deputy treasurer.
However, the vacant post of programme secretary could not be filled, so Mrs Armsby suggested that we all do it together. Several members came up with ideas, & agreed to follow them up. A rough programme was planned, & any bookings will be given to Mrs Cooper, whose husband will kindly print the programme for us.
It was decided that birthday cards worked better than posies, & Mrs Horgen agreed to carry on buying them.
The raffle was won by Gillian Smith & Jean Carter. The meeting ended at 9pm. Claire Lankfer (sec)