Wot a lot of rain

By   September 17, 2016

Just in case you wondered how much it rained yesterday morning the answer is 35mm in an hour!!!

New Website for the Parish Council

By   June 30, 2016

SantoSDPCn Downham Parish Council now has it’s own website.

Here you can find details of forthcoming Council meetings (including agenda), meeting minutes and other council related documents.(annual accounts etc)

This means that Santon Downham now has three websites :-

Santon Downham.org – this one!!

SantonDownhamCentre.co.uk – The Village Hall/Santon Downham Centre

SantonDownhamPC.org.uk – The Parish Council



Fast Broadband is on its way

By   May 31, 2016

Things are certainly moving on.

Updates as of 31st of May.

We’re installing the new fibre cabinet and laying the fibre cables to serve your home or business. You can’t order a fibre service today but typically it’ll be available to your premises within the next five months.
If you’d like to know when you can order fibre, register your details.
Find out more about the fibre journey.

Broadband Update

By   May 24, 2016

internetSuperfast broadband may not be as far away as we think.

Today I went to the BT broadband checkerand got the following results.:-

Enabled Area

You are connected to cabinet number 12 on the Brandon exchange.

Your area is enabled for Fibre but your cabinet is not ready yet so you can’t place an order today. It is in our plans to be upgraded and we update this info weekly, so please check back later. (check here)

Looking at the details of our fibre “journey”

You’re scheduled to be upgraded and we’re surveying your area to make sure our initial fibre plans will work in your community. You can’t order a fibre service today but typically it’ll be available to your premises within the next nine months.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that even if/when the cabinet is upgraded we may still be two far away from it and not actually benifit from it as the BT solution is only fibre to the cabinet with the last bit still being good old copper wire!!!.

Sheepwatch Launched

By   April 22, 2016

Helping local communities to reduce the number of attacks by dogs on sheep

sheepwatchParish Councils in your part of the country may already be aware of distressing attacks on sheep by dogs: over 600 have been killed in the first dozen weeks of 2016 (probably only the tip of a, largely unreported, iceberg) – and most of them will have been pregnant.
Sheepwatch UK is a new initiative, recently featured on BBC Countryfile, which is trying to help people work together to reduce the number of attacks on sheep and support responsible dog ownership.
There is now a website and a Toolkit of ideas which may be of interest to Parish Councils, community groups, schools, farmers and others.
Please feel free to circulate the following details to Parish Councils:
·        Dog attacks on sheep seem to be increasing: a situation that affects rural businesses, animal welfare, community relations, access to the countryside, food prices and much more
·        The problem can be addressed by bringing people together and using education and awareness to gradually change behaviours
·        Parish Councils may be able to play an important role in this matter
·        Sheepwatch UK is a new initiative which is trying to help people work together to reduce the number of attacks on sheep and support responsible dog ownership
·        The initiative is working closely with the Kennel Club, Farmers Unions, Police Forces, the National Sheep Association and others
·        Thousands of sheep (many of them pregnant) are killed by dogs every year – and many more are worried (which can lead to them losing lambs which they are carrying)
·        SheepWatch UK is trying to encourage all farmers to report incidents to its website so that there is a better picture of the scale, nature and costs of the problem
·        The campaign will offer ideas and advice to farmers as well as producing a ‘Toolkit’ for local communities so that they can organise local campaigns to increase awareness and encourage responsible behaviour in the countryside
·        Communities are encouraged to obtain copies of the Toolkit and find out more about the issue via the SheepWatch UK website
·        A national conference (free of charge) is being arranged for Friday 3rd June (details via the SheepWatch UK website)
·        The initiative has already been featured on BBC Countryfile and interest in using the Toolkit to organise local campaigns has already been received from over half the counties in the country.
We hope that this information may be helpful to you and to Parish Councils in your area.  There will be no ‘quick fix’ to this issue but, hopefully, if lots of communities take an interest and help to raise awareness then changes might be seen over the years ahead …
With best wishes
Doug Jones and Terena Plowright

Forest Heath considering buying a solar farm

By   April 7, 2016

Solar FarmA new deal could see Forest Heath District Council become the owners of a large scale solar farm of 12Mw or more at Toggam Farm, Lakenheath.

The council’s £14.4 million investment is subject to a variety of commercial conditions which seek to protect the interests of the taxpayer. This means that completion of the purchase will only take effect once, and only if, those conditions have been met, leaving the development risk with the current owners.

If achieved the deal has the potential to achieve hundreds of thousands of pounds of income each year to protect key day to day services at a time when Government funding for councils is being withdrawn.

Cllr Stephen Edwards, Forest Heath Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance said: “Government funding for councils is being withdrawn while Council Tax comes nowhere near to covering the total cost of the day to day services that we provide to our communities.

“That means, that we, as a council, are acting more commercially to generate income that will pay for these services – and the potential from the solar farm is huge.

“Capital funding cannot be spent on providing day to day services but by investing it wisely we can create a significant income that will pay towards these.

“We recognise that this is a big sum of public money that we are looking to invest so this will only go ahead when the commercial conditions have been met.”