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Norfolk forecasts a ‘Dry January’

If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that could benefit your waistline, your wallet and your general health, why not sign up to take part in Dry January?

18 December 2014
Sign up for Dry January

Dry January encourages people to take a month out from alcohol and enjoy the benefits from having a break from drinking.

Led by charity Alcohol Concern, the campaign launches on 19 December to try and urge as many people as possible to stop drinking for the whole of January.

A range of support and encouragement – including a new, free game app – will be available via www.dryjanuary.org.uk 

Help shape sport provision in Stalham

We are seeking your views to help shape sports and activity provision at our community sports centre in Stalham.

11 December 2014
Outdoor football at Stalham

In a bid to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our residents, and to encourage greater participation in sport and exercise, we're asking you what you would like to see offered at your local sports centre.

We'd like you to take a few moments to complete an online survey. All completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw to win a free monthly swim pass at Victory Swim & Fitness Centre in North Walsham.

Stalham Sports Centre plays host to a variety of great value activities for children during the school holiday periods. These range from traditional sports such as football and cricket to archery and rounders. Completing the survey will give you the chance to indicate what you would like to see form part of the holiday activity programme in future.

The centre has plenty to offer, including a sports hall, a multi-use games area and tennis courts. Each can be used to host a range sporting activities, and we are is committed to using the feedback to help improve our activity offer to fit the needs of local people.

We're celebrating ten-year relationship with Holt Day Centre

We are celebrating ten years of working together successfully with volunteers from Holt Day Centre at Green Flag award-winning Holt Country Park.

01 December 2014
Holt Day Centre volunteers at Holt Country Park

For the last ten years, our Countryside Rangers have been joined by volunteers from Holt Day Centre to undertake practical conservation work including building a sensory garden, making butterfly habitats, planting trees, gardening and creating habitats for mini beasts and amphibians.

Glyn Williams, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Cultural Services, said: “Many of the projects that have been completed at Holt Country Park could not have been done so without the help of the volunteers from Holt Day Centre. Together with our Countryside Rangers, they have formed an enduring partnership that I hope will continue for many more years to come.

“The volunteers have made a significant contribution to improving the natural environment at Holt Country Park while building confidence and self-esteem and developing strong working relationships with the Rangers”

Shrubs and a selection of gardening tools were presented to the Holt Day Centre members by Cllr. Williams at an event held at Holt Country Park on Wednesday 19 November in recognition of the successful ten-year partnership.

Activities, events and supervised school visits take place at Holt Country Park throughout the year.  Facilities include a visitor centre with toilets. Car parking, including disabled parking bays, is available at £1.50 per day. There are way-marked routes suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Interested in volunteering and helping out with conservation work?  See our Muddy Boots webpage for more details.

Support pledged to Heinz Westwick factory workers

The Council is continuing talks with Heinz management at its Westwick factory near North Walsham to offer support and assistance in a bid to secure continued employment at the site

27 November 2014
Council in talks with Heinz management

Leader, Tom FitzPatrick, together with Chief Executive, Sheila Oxtoby met with Heinz management shortly after the announcement of proposals for the closure of the Westwick factory near North Walsham which employs 200 people was made.

Cllr. FitzPatrick said: “We made contact with representatives from Heinz to organise a meeting as a matter of urgency to establish how we can offer the best support to those affected. Steps are being taken by our Economic Development team to make sure that there is strong support in place and that guidance and advice is readily available for local workers and their families during what will be an extremely difficult time. We appreciate the work being done by Heinz to find alternative uses for the site.”

Support available will include access to training, job-search and careers advice and practical assistance with business start-ups for those considering self-employment and will be offered through the Council’s ‘Learning for Everyone’ support service and Enterprise North Norfolk, a business start-up support programme jointly funded by NNDC and Norfolk County Council.

An offer to Heinz has been made for ways in which financial assistance can be provided for prospective investors to help secure the long-term future of the site and the prospects of those facing unemployment. Working with Norfolk County Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, advice concerning access to funding from the ‘Growing Business Fund’ and the ‘Regional Growth Fund’ was given to Heinz for any enquiries they may receive regarding a purchase of the site or potential inward investment. Advice will also be available to potential investors concerning planning matters, environment health issues and workforce recruitment.

We're undertaking a review of our polling districts and polling places

We are about to embark on a four-yearly review of out polling districts and places to make sure voting is convenient for people and polling stations are up to the job.

27 November 2014
Review set for polling places and districts

The review will look at whether communities are properly served by the places and the facilities chosen for polling at election times; and will take in to consideration how a sparcely populated rural area can sometimes pose challenges.

It will look at populations and facilities to see whether any changes can, or should be made and whether new locations and more appropriate locations have become available.  The review will be completed by 31 January 2015.

You can suggest new places for polling stations, or comment on the suitability and accessibility of existing ones.  Please write to Suzanne Taylor, Electoral Services Manager, North Norfolk District Council, Holt Road, Cromer, NR27 9EN.  Or you can email elections@north-norfolk.gov.uk

Free spaces introduced and evening car park charges removed

'Mini-stay’ free spaces are to be introduced and evening charges will be removed from our car parks from Friday 14 November.

04 November 2014
Council scraps evening charges

From 14 November three free 30 minute parking spaces will be provided at Sheringham (Morris Street), Cromer (The Meadow), Fakenham (Bridge Street), Stalham (High Street), North Walsham (Bank Loke), Holt (Albert Street) and Wells-next-the-Sea (Staithe Street) car parks. These locations cover the district’s seven main towns and these car parks have been selected as providing the best town centre locations.

From the same date parking on all our car parks will be free from 6pm.

Free parking in all of our car parks

Parking in all of our car parks will be free over the weekend before Christmas (20 and 21 December).

04 November 2014
Free car parking introduced across north Norfolk

Parking will be free over the weekend of 20 and 21 December as a gesture of goodwill for the festive season!

 

Cromer coast protection work re-starts

The second phase of the £8m ‘Cromer Coast Protection’ scheme has started; work will take place on the seafront from October to March 2015.

04 November 2014
Cromer coast protection works are back underway

The scheme has been designed not only to maintain the existing level of defence, but also to withstand many years of predicted sea level rise.

The sea defences at Cromer protect the town from the force of the North Sea. They were built in various phases as the town expanded, the earliest dating back to 1836. Over the years, the walls and groynes have withstood many storms and have been maintained, enhanced and repaired as and when required.

The coast protection scheme will reduce the impact of the sea along the Cromer frontage as well as helping to maintain a stable beach in front of the seawalls for future years. The historical significance of some of the structures has been carefully taken in to consideration and the overall character of the promenade should not change.

Pedestrian access to the Pier will remain during the work, and signage will be installed to direct visitors away from work areas when required. Cromer will remain open for business and the engineering operations are a spectacle that can be viewed from many cliff top vantage points. Work will not be carried out for two weeks over the Christmas holiday period.

As vehicle access will be limited during the course of the works a discounted taxi service will be offered for the audience of this year’s Cromer Christmas Show from the town centre. Visitors to the show who would normally use the disabled car park will be able to collect a temporary car park pass for the promenade from the Box Office when they collect their show tickets The Cromer Christmas Show opens on Saturday 29 November and runs until 27 December

The Cromer Coast Protection Project has been chosen by the Institute of Chartered Engineers (ICE) to be part of its ‘This is Engineering’ campaign. The campaign has been designed to bring together construction projects across the UK to show how civil engineers shape the world around and also aims to encourage young people to consider a career in engineering.

December flood victims continue to benefit from grant awards

We've so far approved flood recovery grants worth £520k to help victims of last December’s tidal surge undertake work to help protect their properties from future flooding events.

04 November 2014
Flood victims continue to benefit from grant awards

And following the approval of grants earlier in the process, works to the value of £119k have already been completed, while further payments continue to be arranged. We are still receiving grant applications and these continue to be fed through to the decision panel on a regular basis

We understand that 230 residential and 66 business properties were directly affected by flooding in December, and since applications opened in April 2014 a total of 217 grant applications, in respect of 190 properties (businesses can apply for both grants if they are eligible), have been received.

Angie Fitch-Tillett, NNDC Cabinet Member for Coastal Management and Environmental Services, said, “We are very pleased that 64% of properties identified as being affected by flooding have applied to the fund. The government has informed us that the uptake of the grants in North Norfolk has been very high, and our community events to inform residents and businesses as to how they could access the grants have been included in their good practice guide, which is a great credit to everyone involved."

The highest number of applications has been received from the most affected community, Walcott. Of the 72 applications from Walcott businesses and residents, 60 have been approved so far, and of those approved 12 have been paid either in part or in full. 146 applications in all have been approved to date, meaning 41% of the applications approved are from Walcott alone.

Norfolk Prepared launches free app

Know what to do before, during and after an emergency with the Norfolk Resilience Forum’s official Norfolk Prepared app. It’s free, simple and practical to use!

20 October 2014
Norfolk Prepared App

With the latest live emergency warning alerts and simple step-by-step advice, it’s never been easier to know the risks, be informed and get prepared for an emergency.

Get expert tips on how to prepare for Norfolk’s Risks and some practical advice from creating an emergency kit, business continuity plan or putting together your own communities’ emergency plan.

Send “I’m Safe” notifications to friends and family during an emergency; test your Norfolk Prepared knowledge by taking our interactive quizzes and share your scores with friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Get Norfolk Prepared at your fingertips now! www.norfolkprepared.gov.uk

Prospective councillors enjoy a date with a difference

We welcomed 24 prospective councillors to our ‘candi-dating’ event on Wednesday 15 October.

17 October 2014
Prospective candidates enjoy a date with a difference

Members of the public were invited to find out what being a councillor involves and to learn about how the council works ahead of the District Council elections on Thursday 7 May 2015.

The group enjoyed a ‘speed-dating’ session with 22 existing councillors. The prospective candidates had the opportunity to chat to each of the councillors about key elements of the role and in more detail about different service areas of the Council, including housing, planning, licensing, economic development and environment.

The next elections for all 48 seats (representing 34 wards) on North Norfolk District Council will take place on Thursday 7 May 2015.

If you would like further information about becoming a councillor, please contact Emma Denny on 01263 516010 or email emma.denny@north-norfolk.gov.uk or see our 'Be a Councillor' webpage.

 

Wetherspoon proposed investment in North Walsham welcomed

North Norfolk District Council has welcomed an announcement from British pub chain JD Wetherspoon of a proposed investment in North Walsham town centre.

16 October 2014
Wetherspoon's £1.6m investment proposal welcomed by NNDC

Wetherspoon approached NNDC with an expression of interest its New Road offices, currently partly occupied by North Walsham Town Council. The chain is looking to open a pub with a restaurant to attract a broad range of customers. It is expected that the investment would result in the creation of 45 to 50 new jobs in the town.

A formal report to NNDC’s Cabinet detailing the proposal is being prepared for discussion at its next meeting on 3 November, which will include relocation options for existing tenants. Any formal proposal will be subject to the normal planning and licensing approval process.

JD Wetherspoon spokesman, Eddie Gershon said, “We are looking at the site in North Walsham. We would be keen to open up a pub in the town.

“If the plans come to fruition we would look to invest £1.6 million on the development project and create up to 50 new full and part time jobs. We also believe that a Wetherspoon pub in the town would act as a catalyst for further investment by other businesses”.

NNDC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Assets, Rhodri Oliver said, “We welcome this proposed investment in the heart of North Walsham’s town centre. We are committed to looking at how to make the best use of all our assets and using them to help us in supporting and encouraging the long-term prosperity and success of towns such as North Walsham. I see it as a positive step in bringing people to the town centre.

Statement following Heinz annoucement

North Norfolk District Council has issued a statement concerning the proposed closure at the Heinz Westwick factory.

09 October 2014
Statement following Heinz annoucement

North Norfolk District Council is extremely disappointed to hear that Heinz has announced proposals for the closure of its Westwick factory, near North Walsham, which employs 200 people.

Leader of North Norfolk District Council, Tom FitzPatrick, said: “We are concerned about the impact that this decision will have on those people who work at the factory and on the local community, the ripples of which will go far beyond the Westwick factory site, and for the long term economic impact on North Walsham and its surrounding area; we’ll do everything we possibly can to limit it. We have made contact with representatives of Heinz to organise a meeting as a matter of urgency to establish how we can offer the best support to those affected.”

Steps have already been taken to make sure that there is strong support in place and that guidance and advice is readily available for local workers and their families during and following the outcome of the 45 day consultation period.

Holt Rugby Club celebrates Big Society Fund grant award

Holt RFC players and spectators celebrated the completion of works to improve the club’s toilets facilities with Deputy Leader, Rhodri Oliver, at a recent derby match at Bridge Road.

30 September 2014
Deputy Leader, Rhodri Oliver celebrates with Holt RFC members

The club was awarded a grant of £12,500 from the Big Society Fund (BSF) to contribute towards phase one of the ‘Clubhouse Redevelopment Project’ which the BSF Panel agreed was essential to support the club’s viability and growth. 

The programme was focused on improving the toilets which now offer brand new toilets for men and ladies, a modern disabled toilet and baby-changing facilities, and disabled access.

Guy Roper, Holt Rugby Club’s Chairman said “I am delighted with the new toilet facilities. The Big Society Fund grant has enabled us to make really positive changes which I am sure will benefit everyone who visits Holt Rugby Club.”

Rhodri Oliver, NNDC’s Deputy Leader, added: “I am delighted that NNDC’s Big Society Fund has been able to support Holt RFC in providing better facilities for not just its members, but for the wider community who can hire the club to host business or social events.”

The total cost of the project is expected to be £85,000. Holt RFC has launched its own fundraising campaign including a ‘buy a brick’ initiative to support further improvements to the club.

eastlaw wins second prestigious national award

eastlaw, North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) legal team has been named ‘In-house Legal Team of the Year’ at the Halsbury Legal Awards 2014.

29 September 2014
eastlaw team with Marcus Brigstocke

The award is the second national accolade for the team, and comes hot on the heels of them being declared winners of the ‘Legal Services team’ category at the prestigious MJ Achievement Awards in June.

The eastlaw team saw off stiff competition from other entrants who ranged from small public sector bodies to large, multi-national organisations. Vying for the ‘In-house Legal Team of the Year’ award alongside eastlaw were Dell, Kent County Council, Simplyhealth, OneSavings Bank and thetrainline.com.

The Halsbury awards are a celebration of excellence in the law and the legal profession. They celebrate the values of the legal community and recognise and reward those who have made an exceptional contribution.

The trophy was awarded at a ceremony hosted by comedian Marcus Brigstocke and was attended by some of the most talented and highly regarded names in the legal world.

Cllr. Rhodri Oliver, NNDC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet portfolio holder for Legal Services added: “Congratulations to eastlaw for winning this important award. eastlaw demonstrates what can be achieved by a small district council, focussing on the quality of its service and the outcomes it delivers for the community, whilst at the same time innovating.”

The concept of eastlaw was developed by NNDC’s legal team itself to deliver services both in-house and on behalf of external clients. Aiming to combine the best aspects of public sector practice with the efficiency and dynamism of the private sector, eastlaw has been particularly successful in its innovative ways of helping non-for profit organisations, setting up the coastshare group and bringing down costs.