A possibility that some of Whaplode’s well-known village sculptures could find a new home at a redeveloped cemetery has been discussed by parish councillors.
The report on talks between Whaplode village ward member Coun Graham Barlow and retired farmer Stan Hoyes, who is thought to have commissioned at least five of the area’s 12 sculptures, was given at Wednesday’s parish council meeting.
I’ve spoken to Stan Hoyes recently and established that only three of the scultures are really moveable to the cemeteryCoun Graham Barlow, Whaplode Parish Council
Efforts to speak to Mr Hoyes were made after one of the scultures, Lodestone, was taken away from the Buttercup Paddock estate in Whaplode just after the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, to the dismay of residents.
During a parish council meeting in May, Buttercup Paddock resident Rita Rudkin said: “Mr Hoyes said that he was moving the sculpture because he’d had so many complaints about it.
But I said: ‘surely no one round here has complained as we all thought it was beautiful and we’re sad to see it go’.
“We’re very concerned about its removal and we all feel very strongly about it because one minute it was there and the next minute it was gone.”
In his report on Wednesday, Coun Barlow said: “I’ve spoken to Stan Hoyes recently and established that only three of the scultures are really moveable to the cemetery.
“Stan has brought a carpenter in who is going to repair one of them and he told me that he hasn’t abandoned them.
“There is a chance that the sculptures could be moved to the cemetery, but a bat survey and quotes to demolish the chapel will be needed.”
• Parish councillors are adding an extra £250 onto council tax to be spent in the Whaplode area after a small precept rise was agreed.
The total share to be spent on services, including allotments, bus shelters, cemeteries and playing fields, for 2018-19 will be £13,500.
For 2017-18, villagers are paying a Band D average of £12.65 towards a total precept of £13,250.
Parish clerk Granville Hawkes said: “We’ve had a very modest surplus for the last four years when we’ve slowly edged the precept up by £250 a year.
' Two new councillors have been named for Saracen’s Head and Whaplode village wards respectively.
Coun Malcolm Chandler rejoins the parish council, replacing Joe Roulstone who resigned in May, while Coun Neil Jefford is a new member for Whaplode.
Meanwhile, Coun Paul Stafford now represents Whaplode St Catherine.
• Parish council chairman Bob Merchant has revealed that work to put up a safety gate at Whaplode Playing Field has been financed by a gift left by someone who died.
The information was shared as part of an update on the playing field which Coun Merchant said was still widely used.
Meanwhile, members of Whaplode Drove Playing Field Association will have an extra £200 after parish councillors voted for a grant increase.
The previous grant was £800 but Whaplode Drove parish councillor Morris Stancer said: “Whaplode Drove Playing Field Association is quite a big organisation and they are working hard to raise money,
“So I would propose to put the money we give them up to £1,000.”
In addition, Whaplode Drove’s Elizabethan Centre is to become a regular agenda item at meetings after a request from ward councillor Steve Mackman.