Wereham Village News (MARCH 2008)
Our monthly update from Wereham
From St Margaret's:
St Margaret's Wereham Annual General Meeting will be held in the church on 1st April at 7 p.m.
We hope that everyone who has an interest in St Margaret's- its restoration, its present and its future- will try to attend. There may be an item you would like discussed at the meeting, if so please send please send it to Sheila Smith, our churchwarden by March 24. Thank you.
Still searching for a secretary
The PCC remains hopeful that some kind person in the village will come forward to act as secretary for the Parochial Church Council meetings. We have been without one since Sue retired last year.
If you think you could fit it into your schedule we would be so grateful .So do please contact Sheila Smith or any other committee member.
We are hoping that somebody out there with some typing skills and a computer will come to our rescue!
Open Gardens at Wereham
The time has come again to plan for our Open Gardens on Sunday June 15th. If any of you are thinking about opening your garden to the public this year, I would like to hear from you. Perhaps you have thought about it- but have not done so before? Why not give it a go this year? It is a great afternoon, a lovely way to raise funds for the church and we really aren't in competition with each other!
We also have a plant stall so if you have any spare plants or cuttings to donate or dispose of, everything will be gratefully received. Finally, if any of you would like to help in any way I'd be pleased to hear from you too.
Liz Baddock (tel 500233)
We are now well on the way with the plans for the second phase of the restoration and hope that work will start very soon. By the time you read this we hope to have the Faculty and the necessary permission to begin. Extensive work will involve the re-pointing of the lower part of the tower, repairing the external wall cracks and repairing the rainwater drains. Internally there will be repairs to wall cracks as well as new plasterwork and lime wash.
This will make a considerable difference both to the exterior and interior aspects of St Margaret's and is very exciting news. Look out for the scaffolding!
Wereham Neighbourhood Watch Extraordinary General Meeting
I would like to thank Rosemary Lockwood for this comprehensive report covering the special meeting of the Neighbourhood Watch, which will, we hope be value those of you who hoped to attend but unfortunately were not able to be there.
At a well -attended meeting Inspector Mick Bates from Downham Market and Ed Moss Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator came to discuss with villagers their concerns at the increasing crime in Wereham over the past few months.
Initially, we were given some statistics of crimes carried out in the past 18 months and surrounding areas. Wereham 29, Methwold 117, Feltwell 161 and Downham 800. A contributing factor to Wereham crime is the A1 34 running through the village, which provides easy access. The rise of ATMs in shops etc was another factor.
The lack of police presence in the village was mentioned but Inspector Bates said it was important for the police to be deployed in the areas most affected by crime. The current clear up rate is 86 to 87%.
In reply to a question about response times, Inspector Bates said this depended on the seriousness of the call: a serious incident response would be 10 to 15 minutes depending on the location, less serious and would be longer, again depending on the seriousness of the crime, the operator should give an estimated time of response.
Several neighbourhood watch coordinators had expressed concern that at times they were not advised quickly enough about local crime. Ed Moss said that, at present, if he was absent from the office, information could not be passed on until his return. However, a scheme was being piloted elsewhere which would enable others to send out this information and he hoped that we would get this.
Coordinators were concerned at the lack of feedback on crimes committed in the village for example had a race been made and where they any convictions. They should be getting more information shortly was the reply.
Another question raised was the safety of the disabled and elderly in the village. Ed Moss said those people with collar alarm buttons could press this if they were concerned and the Centre could hear and monitor the conversation. Emneth has a system that covers the whole village, but this is funded by themselves
However safer neighbourhood teams have now been set up consisting of one police constable and five or six Police Community Support Officers, however, they do not actually respond to crime. Meetings are held every eight weeks, Parish Councils are informed of the dates, Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators can attend, and it is at these meetings that it is decided where the Safer Neighbourhood Team should spend the next eight weeks. The last meeting was at Middleton on 29th of January 2008.
Inspector Bates warned there is now a new group of people trying to extort money from people who had already been content, mainly the elderly. For example, those who had agreed to have work done on their property and had been charged excessive sums, were now being targeted again by people claiming to be solicitors etc and purporting to be able to get their money back for them -- but only if paid extra money, of course! These people, predictably, then disappear without trace.
Finally a warning to all householders -- "cold" (any unsolicited) callers should always be challenged to show their licences and should never be admitted into your home Inspector Bates said the current trend for burglaries is the dusk- via rear and patio doors.
It is with great regret that we announce the demise of our Village Shop, which succumbed after a brief but severe illness, shortly after the sudden death of its partner, the village Post Office, some months previously. It was the only surviving relative of a family of six that formed a lively trading community in Church Road and Back street 60 years ago. Over the several decades, when it served the village, the shop developed a reputation for warm, friendly and efficient service and formed an indispensable part of village life. It will be remembered with great affection and mourned by us all.