Council of the Week: Necton Parish Council
It has been an exciting twelve months for Necton Parish Council. A village of just over 2,000 residents, situated in West Norfolk, Necton has eight elected councillors and employs a part-time clerk and village handyman.
During the summer of 2014, the council was left without a clerk and this was the catalyst for a change in direction with keenness from members to increase community engagement and develop a strategic approach to business. By the time a new clerk joined in September 2014, the council had already established several new policies and procedures, providing a framework for professional service delivery.
Today, the council has its own parish office in the community centre, the building having recently come under the trusteeship of the council. The clerk is based there and the office is open for business three-days-a-week.
The website has been upgraded, utilising the modern WordPress facility provided by Norfolk Association of Local Councils. It has a growing number of subscribers, residents who have signed up to receive news updates. They are getting minutes direct to their phones, tablets and computers. The website is also the place to find current news relevant to the village, for example, planned roadworks and diversions.
The council are working with Norfolk County Council to introduce new public footpaths within the village, which will increase the opportunities for outdoor physical activity. Another project is the commissioning of two new bus shelters, a scheme which involves engagement with Highways England, Norfolk County Council, local suppliers and funding partners. The xouncil’s 134 street lights are also coming under the spotlight, with 31 already upgraded to low energy LED bulbs and a strategy is being formulated for the refurbishment of the remainder.
In September 2015, the council applied to the NALC Local Council Award Scheme and was awarded Foundation Status. Delighted with this public recognition of the tremendous work invested by everybody over the last twelve months, Necton Parish Council plans to keep improving and use the scheme to support its fantastic journey of development.
Congratulations to all at Necton Parish Council; NALC are delighted to see a small council performing so well in the face of challenges and changes – and to see such strong partnership working with its County Association.