Fringe Box



The Effingham Eye: Aren’t Notice Boards For Notices?

Published on: 5 Dec, 2016
Updated on: 7 Dec, 2016

Effingham EyeBy Chris Dick

When is a notice board not a notice board? And just how many does a small village actually need?

A notice board by definition must surely display notices. But here in Effingham it seems that perhaps we should just admire them for their artistic beauty.

Perhaps there is nothing to say?

Weren’t the results of the recent Neighbourhood Plan Health Check  considered worth displaying or putting up on the parish council website? Or are the results of the Health Check so bad that the Effingham Neighbourhood Plan Group (ENPAG) have decided to withhold them?

Of course this is the parish council we trust to defend us against the Berkeley Homes planning appeal and provide us with a sensible Neighbourhood Plan.

Surely they would want the boards to be well used and read? Where are those wonderful Nolan Principles we hear so much about the ones that include openness?

Earlier this year the parish council and its offshoot the Effingham Village Recreational Trust (EVRT) erected two expensive oak notice boards; one large three-pane display (cost c. £1,700) at the entrance to the King George V (KGV) playing fields car park and one at the entrance to the burial ground.

Unfortunately no drivers will ever see the one at the entrance to the KGV fields as the board it sited right by the gate and protected from myopic readers by a wall. Not the best location from a driving safety point of view either. And as for the intrepid pedestrian – watch out if you want to look at this board as you will be standing on the road and could be hit by a car!

Notice board at KGV car park entrance

Notice board at KGV car park entrance

Whilst we may accept some spending of residents’ local tax money on good communications, fighting planning appeals and paying the parish clerk, I question whether these new and very expensive notice boards are necessary and, judging by the low number of notices displayed, whether they will ever get much use.

Of course every parish council should have at least one notice board but here we have four, largely empty, displays.

In Effingham the parish council has spent thousands of pounds of our money on purchasing these boards and then leaves them for months either empty or, in the case of the burial ground board, with a,  “Don’t Leave Litter” message and a notice giving parish councillor contact details.

Surely information about burials might be a more appropriate piece of information worth displaying? And what else would one need a notice board in a graveyard for, especially when the parish office is only 100 metres away?

Notice board at burial ground

Notice board at burial ground

When one considers the time, money and effort that has gone into planning these boards did no one work out in advance what should be displayed and who would display it?

Were the two boards that council already had insufficient?

The well used Effingham parish council notice board by the shops

The well used Effingham parish council notice board by the shops with a notice of the World War 1 history exhibition

One, outside the shops, is well-used, but is the A246 bus stop board really necessary?

Bus Stop board

A246 bus stop board – just one notice.

When I checked last month the only items that had found their way onto the KGV and parish boards related to a WW1 History Exhibition.

Actually, if the clubs that used the KGV premises could put their notices up without a wall of obstacles that would be an improvement. But a recent request to put up some much needed club information was turned down by the management.

The reasons given were that the committee did not want to spoil the display boards with messy fliers and wanted to produce a proper display for all users.

Surely it is better to have a well used board with plenty of different notices, including non-commercial flyers, that are regularly updated, even at the cost of a little tidiness? Few read notices that have been in place more than a fortnight. They just become part of the scenery.

And there is still demand to post notices on the traditional display boards. During the preparations for the Summer Heritage Weekend the residents association asked to use the boards, provided by the Parish Council Community Fund and held in the KGV for the Effingham Local History Group and other village organisations, for notices to be put up in St Lawrence Church.

They were given reason upon reason as to why these should not leave the KGV premises: they might get damaged, someone else might need them and best of all, there was no booking out book prepared.

But perhaps notice boards are becoming out of date? Perhaps those wishing to publicise events would be better off keeping their websites up to date and using Facebook, Twitter and the local press to keep us informed.

So in case village communications are a bit hit and miss at the moment let me inform you of a date that might be worth noting in your diary: Saturday, December 22 at 6pm there is a living Nativity Play taking place in Effingham.

It starts and ends at the General Sir Douglas Haig public house (this was the only way the vicar could get the actors to “volunteer”!). So with carols, donkey and refreshments laid on, why not join in with the kids, grandkids, family and friends?

Effingham Nativity Notice

Share This Post

Responses to The Effingham Eye: Aren’t Notice Boards For Notices?

  1. Dominic Cleal Reply

    December 5, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    This is happening in a number of villages, which is a shame. I’ve been out putting up posters this weekend for a concert in two weeks’ time, only to find some of the public notice boards we used last year have been replaced by new ones with locks. Some villages don’t have a single public notice board any more.

    Some have parish council contact details, but frankly, it’s a lot of effort to go to for one poster when you’re covering lots of small villages.

    You tend to see people sticking posters to the outside of the board, to nearby lamp posts and anything else they can. Surely that’s worse than having a covered notice board, even if it is a little untidy (as the writer said)?

    Farncombe/Binscombe and Cranleigh have a good number of well-placed notice boards. I wish others would follow their example.

    (My own obligatory promotion.. Godalming Band and Youth Band invite you to their Christmas concert on Saturday 17th December at Godalming United Church. The concert starts at 7pm, and you’ll enjoy a evening of festive musical delights!)

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    December 5, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I have requested, on several occasions, access to at least four notice boards in Burpham. We were threatened with prosecution by SCC because we had the audacity to try and advertise Burpham’s Neighbourhood Forum.

    As far as notice boards are concerned a simple board with a wire mesh over, to prevent notices flying away, is all that is required. Locks are not needed they are for control freaks. Why would you want to lock information away or prevent someone displaying a community notice.

    Self regulation and a polite notice stating:’Please remove out of date notices when posting new notices,’ is all that is required.

    Notice boards are an important part of bringing the community together. Ridiculous over control and pettiness has no part to play in community information distribution.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *