New sign "blocked" by Parish Council

I am extremely unhappy tonight, so much so that my emotions took over and I stormed out from a Parish Council meeting before I bust a gasket !

In my area, Taverham North, around 85% of the houses fall in to the area known far and wide as Thorpe Marriott. This area, which features on road signs, is not a separate Parish, but is known by taxi companies, local radio, and delivery firms far and wide as Thorpe Marriott, even if it falls within the Parish of Taverham.

The Thorpe Marriott sign, which was placed by a consortium of developers more than 20 years ago, is in a state of disrepair, and urgently needs some work. But try as I might to get a council interested in repairing or replacing the sign, nobody has been prepared to take responsibility for it.

So after many months of trying, I thought I should lead by example. I decided to negotiate a deal with a local signwriter to get the sign replaced, and I would pay for it myself.

You'd imagine the local Parish Council would be delighted wouldn't you ? But no.

At tonight's Parish Council meeting, the Parish voted to ask the householder (whose wall it sits on) to remove the existing sign, and voted to "stop", even though the have no jurisdiction over me, a new sign being placed. I was prevented from speaking despite the fact that I was the only person present who had spoken to the owner of the house whose wall it is fixed to, and despite the fact that I had further information that would have clarified a number of  "what if ..." questions that were put against my offer, at no point was I allowed to address these points.

It seems ridiculous to those of use who get elected to get things done that when you want to do something positive you are prevented in doing so.


Chris said...

That really is shocking. I don't mean not being able to change the sign, which is strange enough. But the idea you wouldn't be allowed the privilege to speak in defence? Terrible.

Hywel said...

What will they do if it is changed? I can only think it is a planning matter and I struggle to see how replacing a sign would not easily get permission (assuming it is broadly the same as the old one in terms of style/colour etc and not something massively inappropriate like neon yellow and turquoise :-)

Dan said...

Thorpe Marriot was/is nothing more than the housebuilders marketing tag. I grew up in Taverham before the existence of "Thorpe Marriot" and the place was/is Taverham. But I guess the must be new suburbs appearing in the village all the time as "Taverham North" is new to me too!

Alan said...


This is terrible (but sadly all too frequent).

The culture of the time is to reward communities in self-identity, and problem solving without having to rely on the big state. And yet, when you come up with an innovative (and free) solution, you are trampled upon.

I agree with other commenters that the council probably cannot "do" anything, other than bully the householder involved. This may be an area where the bright spotlight of the media will at least allow residents to make their voices heard, as the council seems to refuse to even listen.

How about an email to Eric Pickles?

Johnny Norfolk said...

You are so right after 13 years of Labour we are no longer allowed to help ourselves.
What you want to do should be encouraged not stopped.
This sort of thing reflects what this country has become.
The top down control even at local level.
just who do these people think they are.
I think it was leveled at you not what you want to do.Have you upset them in the past as you must never think for youself in their eyes.

jailhouselawyer said...

Sounds like a sign of the times...

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wise owl said...

Typical of the old ***** who sit on parish councils.
They should get a life instead of meddling in trivia like that.
I live on Thorpe Marriott and always refer to it as such, obviously we are of a much lower class than the Taverham residents who reside to the south of the Fakenham road!

Tim said...

Just do it and let them arrest you.