Vote of confidence for

By Rebecca SheppardA CONTROVERSIAL village noticeboard, dubbed the Debenham pissoir, should remain in place, residents have voted.Opinion has been divided on the contentious issue of whether a green, pillar-shaped noticeboard should stay in Debenham.

By Rebecca Sheppard

A CONTROVERSIAL village noticeboard, dubbed the Debenham pissoir, should remain in place, residents have voted.

Opinion has been divided on the contentious issue of whether a green, pillar-shaped noticeboard should stay in Debenham.

When the noticeboard was installed on the village green, it attracted fierce criticism.


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A website was launched in protest, where it was contemptuously referred to as the Debenham pissoir as villagers claimed it looked like a French lavatory.

In response Debenham Parish Council began a six-month review and village-wide consultation in May and set up a working group to try to resolve the issue.

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The noticeboard was also moved 3ft to the south to set it apart from a telephone box, but the complaints continued.

The results of the council's poll were recorded at a public meeting last night and revealed most residents did not want it taken away.

Councillors and volunteers spent two weeks calling at 811 houses in the village, inviting everyone who was 16 or over to fill in the confidential questionnaire making their views known.

The same volunteers then returned to the houses to collect the forms in sealed ballot boxes.

Initial figures showed 64% of the households and 985 people returned their questionnaires with comments, with 506 of them saying they were content with the noticeboard.

About 240 wanted it replaced and 115 were not happy with the noticeboard, but did not want it changed.

Helen Huish, chairman of the council, said the results would be checked and presented to the full council on September 18, but she added: “At this moment it looks as though it will stay.

“The council have in fact gone the extra mile in conducting this survey. We had no statutory duty to carry it out, but it was in response to the fact we received very strong opposition to the noticeboard that we have given the village a chance to have its say.

“It is looking as if the village has spoken. We want to make sure this is what the village wants. It has been a long and tiring night and I think we are all glad this stage is over.”

Mrs Huish said there would be a further meeting on October 14 when the full results would be presented to the public and any questions about the process or the issue could be answered.

The council would also go through the comments written on the questionnaires.

rebecca.sheppard@eadt.co.uk

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