READER LETTER: Diss is the poor relative

Mere Street in Diss.
Mere Street in Diss.

I consider myself fortunate to live in the picturesque old market town of Diss.

Having lived here for 35 years, I have seen many changes and there is no doubt that infrastructure, particularly in the last five to 10 years, has failed to keep up with them.

What I would like to see is Diss treated in a more equal manner to other towns in South Norfolk rather than feel we are at the bottom of the pile when it comes to investment

The location of Diss on the Suffolk border puts us at a disadvantage with other south Norfolk towns as it is perceived that, both at a district and county council level, there is a reluctance to invest in anything that might benefit those that live over the border.

South Norfolk Council has pumped millions into leisure projects in Long Stratton and Wymondham, yet has only spent the minimum on cosmetic changes at Diss Leisure Centre.

We have also seen the council reduce its costs in Diss with the closure of the tourist information centre, and it will soon pass back the running of the Mere toilets to the town council.

With housing developments increasing, why is a larger percentage of the contributions paid by developers not being spent in our town, but instead disappearing as many residents suspect down the black hole that is the Long Stratton bypass?

With Norfolk County Council, the situation is even worse as it seems to have little money to spend anywhere except in Norwich or other large towns. Indeed, any planned work it does in Diss seems to take an age, if it gets done at all. This is borne out by the lack of action on the Frenze Hall Lane road improvements, a part of which should have been done years ago.

This lack of investment is impacting on commuters in Diss and, more importantly, businesses.

The fact that Victoria Road is a car park for large periods of the day is frustrating for motorists, but even more of a problem for the many businesses we rely on for employment.

It is not surprising that a number of them are seriously considering re-locating away from Diss.

I appreciate that major new roads are not going to happen any time soon, but why, when we have relatively cheap improvements planned to the Vince’s Road/Victoria Road junction and a connection from Station Road to Nelson Road, are they not prioritised.

I know that the neighbourhood plan is seen by some as the panacea that will fix all these problems, but that is two to three years away and will, in any case, need to run alongside a long-term strategy for improving our road network.

What I really don’t understand is why it is that Diss is treated as the poor relative of South Norfolk at both district and county council level and given such a low priority on anything that needs doing.

It can’t be right that residents of Diss subsidise other towns.

What I would like to see is Diss treated in a more equal manner to other towns in South Norfolk rather than feel we are at the bottom of the pile when it comes to investment.

Eric Taylor

Peregrine Close

Diss

- Send your letters to editorial@dissexpress.co.uk, or by post to Diss Express, Norfolk and Suffolk House, Mere Street, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4AE. Please provide a name, street name, and a town/village