15 December 2009Awards for All Grant

Caston Parish Council is pleased to announce they have been successful in their recent bid for an “Awards For All” grant for £10.000.00 to “Bootify Caston”

Caston was once a runner-up of the region’s “Best Kept Village” competition and used to be known as lively and exciting. However due to the disturbance caused by the work to install first time sewerage in the village and the closure of the village pub, the village has become untidy and lost its' uniqueness. Caston Parish Council with help from Awards for All, are planning to revitalise the village and restore it to a new “bootiful” village.

The initial idea for the village enhancement came from suggestions from villagers at PC meetings. Councillors carried out soundings and then in 2008 a survey was conducted with questionnaires for each household to ascertain the needs and aspirations of the villagers. There was also information on the web sites and in the parish magazine. Responses from villagers suggested that there was a lack of simple amenities and that the village was untidy and had an unkempt look.

At the same time various village groups such as the Women's Institute expressed an interest in helping to improve and create an enhanced environment for the village. The village playgroup and Caston Camera Club also enthusiastically supported the idea.

A sub-committee was then set up to look at these suggestions and ideas and formulate a plan. They looked at how other villages had improved their environment and found that they all had green spaces, tidy footpaths and village seats. They also contacted Norfolk County Council, Breckland District Council, the local tree officer, the town gardener for Watton to obtain information. Extensive Internet research was also undertaken.

The sub-committee then produced a plan including the potential costs for the enhancements Sources of potential funding were also identified. This was then presented to the PCC who discussed and approved the plan to proceed to apply for an “Awards for All Grant”. The list of agreed improvements is as follows: -

  1. The main entrances to the village would be improved with flower filled planters, providing a colourful visual and unique welcome to the village.
  2. The Green would be rejuvenated with the introduction of a much needed village seat.
  3. The footpath to the telephone box and the bus shelter, currently narrow and very uneven will be widened to meet Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements and will be extended to meet the new seat. The new gold chip tarmac surface would brighten up the area.
  4. The small parking area on The Green would be surfaced to match the new path thus making the whole area bright and inviting.
  5. Subject to payment of professional fees for the transaction costs, the “green space” fronting Coronation Terrace, Attleborough Road will be “gifted” from Breckland District Council to the Parish Council. This space will have a native species hedge planted along the road side, thus providing an attractive entrance to the village, an extra green space for the village.
  6. Two new parish notice boards will be purchased, one situated on the Village Hall, the other at one end of Northacre. This will keep more villagers informed of events, particularly if they are unable to access the Parish Council web site.
  7. A new seat in the bus shelter on The Green, will allow villagers, walkers, cyclists and bus users to take shelter under cover.
  8. The very popular village playgroup, which is held at the village school will benefit enormously from a large storage shed for their play equipment, thus keeping the play items safe, tidy and clean.
  9. Specialist litter picking equipment used by a new group of village volunteers, would keep the village looking neat and tidy, generating pride in the village scene. Thus the whole community would benefit.

The enhancement scheme will encourage more people to become involved in village activities such as assisting with the planting of the planters. The existing W.I. bulbs under the road signs will be replanted into the planters amongst the new plants.

Caston Camera Club will make a photographic record of the installation of each new item in the scheme for posterity.

It is planned that the village will engage in more community projects in the future such as entering the “Best Kept Village” competition and thus restoring pride to the village.

The first item to be purchased is the large shed for the village playgroup which is due to be installed on 7th & 8th of December in the grounds of the village school. Other items will follow and the project to “Bootify” Caston will be completed by October 2010.

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