Saturday 10 December 2011

Hethersett and Little Melton Circle

Much of the last few weeks have been taken up with two things that are at the opposite ends of the spectrum of rural life but have led me to think about whether modern communications have given us more or less control over our own destinies.

The first task has been the restoration of the Little Melton village sign. What started as a simple repainting of the coloured bits has led to a replacement of rotting wooden parts and redesign of the base in an effort to ensure that the new post lasts at least 100years! (the pic was taken many years ago before it all rotted).  Looking at the sign has led me to consider whether the agricultural workers shown on the sign and in the village logo were more in control or less in control of how the village evolved than the current residents – who are mostly much better educated and wealthy but very few of whom work within the village.

This is relevant to my other task, which has been to respond to the planning application to build close on 1200 houses between LM and Hethersett. The application must contain over 5000 pages, so there is no shortage of information but people feel overwhelmed and very few wade through it all. My priority is to ensure that new developments make it possible for people to walk and cycle to shops and workplaces, so I have dived in and made comments on behalf of LMPC.

Other members of Transition Hethersett have started a Green Spaces group to ensure that the green spaces in the village continue to enhance the lives of the villagers. My guess is that people are now much better informed and that the way things are done is more open and transparent but the irony is that few people take advantage of this. I suspect that the ordinary men and women who lived here when it was an agricultural community had to fight to make their voice heard but took a much keener interest in what was going on around them.

I’ve just cut up one of the huge squash that I grew this year and have managed to keep all my fingers so I’m now off to ask my donkey friends for some manure for next year’s crop. Some things carry on much the same!

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