Welcome to Watton Town Council Website
Annual Fireworks Display – Saturday 27th October 2018
Watton Festive Christmas Market – Sunday 25th November 2018 – 2-5pm
Please click here for Notice of vacancy in the office of Town Councillor
Notice date – 05.04.2018
Watton Annual Town Meeting 2018
Reports from the Annual Town Meeting 2018 held on 17th April 2018 can be found in the navigation menu above under ” Annual Town Meeting 2018″
Cemetery Statement 27th March 2018
A statement with regard to the facts appertaining to Watton Town Cemetery
Over the past few weeks a number of concerns have been raised about the Town Council’s decisions relating to the Town Cemetery. Unfortunately, some of the issues raised have been incorrect or based on misguided information. Set out below are indisputable facts that have been the basis for the Council’s decisions.
The current Town Council was acutely aware of the limited number of burials that remained in the cemetery and therefore in 2017, commissioned a report on the amount of time left before the cemetery became full and the potential for new burial sites within the town. Previous Councils had not been proactive in exploring these issues. The Council commissioned Cemetery Development Services Ltd, a well-respected company used by many Councils and Burial Authorities. The company based their report on information supplied by the Town Council, geographical maps and ground surveys supplied by the Environment Agency. This report surmised that the Cemetery would be full within 7 years and that due to the height of the water table, the surrounding area would be unsuitable for a new cemetery.
It should be noted that on 30th January 1893 the Privy Council advised her Majesty Queen Victoria that, “for the protection of the public health no new burial grounds should be opened..” and “that burials should be discontinued therein with certain modifications..” at St. Mary’s Parish Church Watton. This was reported in the London Gazette and can be viewed on line. The reason for this is again the height of the water table.
For several years the land to the rear of the church was used as a cemetery. When this became full the Town Council purchased the land on which the current cemetery stands. Planning permission was sought and obtained from Breckland District Council on 24th June 1980. The planning permission was granted only for the land on which the cemetery now stands.
The allotment land, to the south of the current cemetery, was conveyed to the Town Council by SDC (Anglia) Ltd on the 14th April 1988 under section 52 of the Town and Country Planning Act. This was conveyed to the Council on a legal agreement that the said land would only ever be used for allotments or allotment gardens. Therefore, there is no potential for extending the current cemetery to the allotment land.
Further the report from Cemetery Development Services points out that the current cemetery and its environs are adjacent to the Environment Agency’s SPZ1. This means a Source Protection Zone 1. The Environment Agency’s document entitled “The Environment Agency’s approach to groundwater protection” November 2017 Version 1.1 advises that, “the Environment agency will normally object to the locating of any new cemetery or the extension of any existing cemetery, within SPZ1, or 250 metres from a well, borehole or spring used to supply water that is used for human consumption, whichever is the greatest distance.”
The Government’s guidance on “Cemeteries and burials: prevent groundwater pollution” updated on 27th February 2018 states a “A burial site must be: outside a source protection zone 1”
It is quite clear from the maps provided by CDS Ltd on the geographical features of Watton that there are wells and boreholes located in Watton, some of which are within 250 metres of the current cemetery.
Therefore, the only land suitable for possible use as a cemetery would be to the south of the town and outside the Town’s perimeter.
Previous Town Councils had set aside money for the development of a new cemetery. This amounts to £40,000, which remains unspent within the Council’s General Reserve Fund. The purchase of land for a cemetery would be expensive. It is likely that this sum of money would only just cover the cost of preliminary surveys for the suitability of the burial of human remains. The full cost of the purchase of any new land, unless gifted, will fall upon the residents of Watton.
No further discussion has taken place in Council with regard to the original decision taken in October 2017, as the rules regarding revisiting decisions are clear, that this cannot take place until after a period of six months has elapsed. In the meantime the Cemetery Working Party continues to meet to discuss relevant issues and continues to have dialogue with the Environment Agency.
2017/2018 Town Mayor Councillor Stan Hebborn & Vice Chairman Councillor Tina Kiddell
At the Full Council Meeting held on Tuesday 9th May 2017 Councillor Stan Hebborn was elected as Town Mayor for 2017/18 with Vice-Chairman Councillor Tina Kiddell.
The Town Council would like to apologise to anyone who has tried to contact the Council via this website and may not have received a response. The Council endeavours to respond to all correspondence but sometimes e-mails are missed.
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The Town Council is always keen to hear from members of the public and replies should be received to any communication. If you do not receive a response to any correspondence within a reasonable time please contact us to let us know.
Watton Town Council
Twinned with Weeze, Germany
The Town Council is elected every four years with the last elections being in May 2015. The Chairman of the council is elected annually each May by fellow councillors. As well as the usual Chairman’s duties, the elected person also serves as Town Mayor. The Mayor’s Chain of Office carries a pendant illustrated with a rebus of the town’s name.
The origins of the rebus are not certain but the picture of a hare leaping over a barrel certainly dates from the 19th century. An old Norfolk term for a hare is a “Watt”, and a more ancient name for barrel is a “Tun”, hence Wat – ton! The rebus is also shown in the lower part of the Watton Town Sign, located in the High Street, which depicts the local ‘Babes In The Wood’ fable.
Watton Town Council operates a monthly meeting structure of two Full Council meetings, one on the second Tuesday of the month and the other on the fourth. Meetings usually commence at 7pm and are held at Wayland Hall.
No meetings are held in August or December.
All Council meetings are open to the public. Public Participation is on every agenda. During the fifteen minute window of public participation members of the public have an opportunity to address the Council.
Watton Town Council is the owner-occupier of Wayland Hall which is situated in Middle Street just off the north side of the High Street.
The Town Council Office is open between 9am and 1pm Monday to Friday.