Agenda and minutes

Venue: Gallery Bar, Sports Park, Dereham Road, Watton

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No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2010.



As this was a public meeting, the Chairman opened proceedings by welcoming all those present.   She briefly explained the context and background of the Group’s work, and the format of the meeting, adding that she was grateful for such a large attendance.  Members looked forward to having some local input and comments to feed into their review of parking in Watton.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2010 were then confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies had been received from Konnectbus, who had been invited to send a representative to the meeting.


There were also late apologies from the Police, whose nominated representative had been called away on urgent business.



Parking Issues in Watton (Agenda Item 5) pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive a presentation from the Scrutiny Officer, on research and feedback thus far on parking issues in Watton.


The Scrutiny Officer gave a short introductory presentation, comprising the background and a review of the work done so far.  The full presentation is attached to these Minutes for ease of reference.   However key points included:


  • There had been active public engagement in terms of comments requested, and received, thus far.


  • Members of the group had paid two visits to Watton as part of their research.


  •  Breckland Council owned three car parks in the town.   


  • There were clear issues for each car park, including lighting, signage, under-usage, and anti-social behaviour.


  • There were other car parks available (Tesco/Cooperative Store), as well as various on-street parking in and around the centre of town.


  • There was a mix of restrictions along the High Street, which had about 20 spaces available in total (less on Market day).   


  • There were some overspill issues, resulting in parking behind the High Street, especially on the narrow Harvey Street and in predominantly residential areas. 


  • There was clear evidence of illegal parking, especially along the High Street, with little (or only sporadic) enforcement.   Certainly not enough to deter offenders.


  • CCTV was available and in use along the High Street, but there was scope for further deployment, if desired.


In conclusion, he explained that the Parking Task & Finish Group was not a decision-making body.    Its purpose was to pull together facts and evidence before drawing up a series of recommendations.  These would then be presented to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission, and then ultimately to Cabinet for decision.  It was therefore important that local residents and agencies were given an opportunity to air their views and experiences.   Hence this public meeting, and the recent local publicity.


The Chairman then opened up the meeting to questions and comments from the floor.   It soon became clear that there were many issues which concerned local residents, including the following.


  • Illegal and inconsiderate parking near the schools at beginning/end of day.   This included abuse of purpose-built turning areas, parking across people’s driveways and ignoring double-yellow lines etc.   


Aside from the considerable inconvenience to local residents during peak school hours, there were also concerns about the safety of children and the elderly as cars manoeuvred in these tight areas.   


Key roads mentioned at this point included North, South and West Roads, as well as the George Trollope Road (N/S/W/GT).


It was pointed out that if driveways were blocked, then the law was not being broken if someone could not turn into their drive: only if they were prevented from leaving it.  This was hardly helpful, or practical, for the residents concerned!


  • Teachers and visitors parking on-street for whole working days.   This caused some of the roads near the High School to effectively become one-way for much of the time.   There was also occasional double- parking which added to the problems, as well as some illegal parking in a private car park. 
  • School land owned by Council.   There was a query about some of the school land which was owned by Breckland Council, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.


Next Meeting (Agenda Item 6)

To agree a date and time for the next meeting.


It was agreed that the next meeting, which would be held in private session, would be on Thursday, 9 September at 10.00, with the venue to be confirmed.