Chicken Roundabout Outline Proposal 2022/23
A BRIEF OUTLINE
Based on information gathered on Chicken Roundabout going back before the chickens were removed in 2010 and various campaigns of memorial and celebration of this iconic landmark New Rock are heading a NEW campaign tackling previous objections head on. Most sensible concerns have been made regarding Public Safety which most of us can appreciate. We know their was no real incidents to note, even with the live chickens on the island and the amazing Gordon Knowles traveling back and forth for over a decade keeping his feathered friends fed and looked after, however in this "Tick Box" world exceptions of wonder and community spirit vary rarely have a place amongst bureaucracy.
Whether we want to except it or not, our modern way of life is certainly a "Blame Culture", with people very quick to jump on any chance to blame others for any sort of mishap or what we used to call "Accidents". I feel its also possible to recognise with limited resources that blanket polices and procedures offer an instant band aid to minimise risk. Then we have those situations that sit outside the norm like Chicken Roundabout that on paper from an outsider may feel a little wacky and undeliverable, but have been an expression of community personality and culture that we are so rightly proud of within the UK.
SO LET'S BREAK IT DOWN
We are taking this step by step identifying CONCERNS and their REASONING, and then responding with a SOLUTION its DELIVERY and EFFECTIVENESS, then methods to ASSESS and REVIEW the outcomes. The aim will be to provide reassurance with evidence and precedent that any lasting risks are addressed and the effects are minimalised.
Straight out of the gate, we need to state that "We have no intention to reintroduce (Live Chickens) back to the roundabout", we feel we need to be realistic and although the negative impact of the birds were very minimal, that this would be a step to far when dealing with council and highways policy. Yes its a shame, but in the nature of picking your battles we need to move past this as "not" being a realistic option.
SO WHAT IS REALISTIC?
Straight out There are many, many examples of sculptures and memorials being placed on roundabouts throughout the UK, This includes both Norfolk & Suffolk so we don't have to travel to far to find precedent of this and the pleasure and enrichment this would bring to the area. One of the already mentioned was Damian O'Connor's "War Horse", that has done the rounds moving locations dating back to 2017. There has been comments regarding visibility for road uses, using the round about and this has been sighted as a reason against roundabout advertising. However we have all seen the advertising and sponsorship operated by Marketing Force in both Norfolk and Suffolk, to help them generate additional revenue to go "Towards the maintenance and planting of the roundabouts" permitted signage for this scheme is currently either 3 or 4 signs of 1219mm x 508mm (48'' x 20'') or 1016mm x 508mm (40'' x 20'') dependent on site See Here For Norfolk Guidance. So there is also active precedent of this even within a few miles of this site. However Chicken Roundabout also falls within the Ditchingham Parish Council jurisdiction "making decisions on behalf of the people in the parish and has an overall responsibility for the well-being of its local community" who has a no advertising policy;
"B6. Chicken Roundabout: DPC discourages all advertising on the roundabout; ‘official’ or otherwise. Any unauthorised advertising will be removed.B7. Advertising on the highways: DPC discourages all advertising or other artefacts on the highway, specifically the B1332 and within the village, but note that this is not illegal provided that other regulations including safety, fly posting and planning issues are not breached."
For more information please refer to the Ditchingham Parish Council Website Here
SO WHAT'S THE PLAN?
The real answer is to "take our time to explore the best options". To do this we have asked Ditchingham Parish Council to lease the centre of the roundabout to us, so that we can work directly with Norfolk County Council to explore viable options. With a tenancy this also means that we can insure the location for public liability taking on the extra burden from Ditchingham Parish Council for any activities carried out there. As New Rock (local non profit championing this campaign) has a very experienced team with a history of developing and operating a wide range of environmental projects, that we also take on the liability of roundabout maintenance (including all vegetation, and excluding road surface and drainage). As part of a much bigger environmental consulting team, the management of a 16m diameter is a little overkill, however if we can cope with estates over 1,000 acres I'm pretty sure we can keep up with the demands of this project. Our initial plan regarding maintenance of the site would be to create some NEW part-time roles within the local community and provide to training to operate maintenance to the highest standard, then subcontracting any heavier machinery work (if required) to local insured contractors.
HOOPS & HURDLES
We are in no misgivings that any of this will be made easy, all parties involved will be making very sure that all responsibilities for the ground are well and truly shifted away from themselves and that they are shown to be following due diligence when making any decisions. In order to get this on the agenda for Ditchingham Parish Council for January 2023 we have been presented with these initial steps.
'New Rock' Company email address
'New Rock' Company telephone number
'New Rock' Corporate Address
'New Rock' Charity number and certificate
Evidence of Owners and Partners' role in organisations
Their Authority Contract or other Relationships with Local Government
Public Liability Insurance
Certificate of Employers' Liability
Highways Risk Assessment
Highways Methodology Statement
Health and Safety Certificates of all Highway operatives for the equipment they will use
Training record for operatives engaged in working on the highway
Training record for operatives engaged in using herbicides
Membership certificate of the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) or another safe contractor scheme
Proposed Roundabout Plans
- A detailed Maintenance schedule for 6 years
Photographs of previous highway contract work and any references
Now obviously this gives us a little work to do over chistmas to ensure that the information is submited in time, some bits are very simple others will take a little more time, money and effort. We are confident enough with this project to commit to a initial 6 year lease on the projects behalf and cover the operational costs for doing so. We do however need that community support to reasure us that this really does have the (your) community backing and that our time and resources are not being wasted.
This is where you all come in and where discusions and sharing through soclial media, will make a real difference. This is only one, of a number of community projects New Rock are supporting in the area, soley for community benefit and are team of volunteers are very happy to provide as much support to the area as possible, so please get on board and show your support in sharing this and other area projects.