Our towns are beginning to reopen, with people venturing out to local shops and some services starting to return to normal. With the lockdown in place, local councils have been working hard behind the scenes getting things ready and also making sure people are looked after.
Sheringham Town council has been updating residents on its recent work and letting everyone know it has lots of plans in the pipeline.
The council has seen a lot of change over the past three years. Led by mayor Madeleine Ashcroft and deputy mayor Liz Withington, the council has undergone a process of rebuilding and restructuring, and this work continues, albeit stalled for a while as a result of changed priorities due to covid-19.
The council has worked hard to provide opportunities for residents to engage with STC and come on the journey to project the town’s administration into the 21st century. Bridges have also been built between the various professional bodies and voluntary organisations in the town.
Many projects are under way or completed such as moving its administration to the Community Centre; the Carnival Association has independent and long-term storage; and the Town Art collection is now safely located and displayed in Sheringham Museum.
Other projects are developing with community stakeholders. The Town Centre Development Group, which has brought together more than 20 stakeholders in the community to formulate a plan to develop and improve the town centre, works closely with the Chamber of Trade and local businesses to promote business and tourism.
The Town Plan, which was a collaboration between residents and stakeholders, identifies and schedules the community’s priorities with STC providing the support to meet those priorities.
The council also recognises the importance of encouraging young people, so funding for youth projects together with youth awards for contributions to life in the town and community are high on their list of priorities.
It also has a Climate Action Plan in place, which ensures that all its activities consider sustainability following the declaration of a climate emergency by the government.
The onset of covid-19 meant that Sheringham Town Council quickly embraced online meetings to which all members of the public have access unless sensitive matters are involved.
The additional challenges that arose in supporting the health and well-being and resilience of the town as a result of the pandemic led to a number of councillors involved with the development of Sheringham Community Support (SCS.
The network of street volunteers across the town has provided local support to residents, and people have built connections with their neighbours.
In order to achieve this level of support, SCS has worked with several community and support organisations and many individuals and local organisations have expressed their appreciation.
The town council has historically always been active in supporting residents, businesses and organisations in the town and the current councillors say they are committed to taking this vibrant community into the future.