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Make sure you’re ready for the EU Referendum vote

On Thursday June 23 the United Kingdom has the opportunity to vote in the EU Referendum. If you are intending to vote make sure you know what to expect and what to do on the day.

20 June 2016

On Thursday June 23 the United Kingdom has the opportunity to vote in the EU Referendum. If you are intending to vote make sure you know what to expect and what to do on the day.

Polling stations across the district will be open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday. If you are voting in person, the address of your polling station is printed on your polling card. You do not need to bring your polling card with you to vote.

On entering a polling station there will be polling officers who will tick your name and address off their list of registered local voters. You will be handed a ballot paper to take with you into a voting booth where you can vote in private.

The question on the ballot paper will be: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’. Your options for the vote will be: ‘Remain a member of the European Union’ or ‘Leave the European Union’.

When you have voted, you will leave the booth with your ballot paper and place it in the sealed ballot box.

Postal voters need to ensure their postal ballot is received by North Norfolk District Council’s Electoral Services team by 10pm on June 23. If you have not left enough time to ensure this happens, you can hand your postal ballot in at any polling station in the North Norfolk district during the opening times on Thursday.

Please be aware no photos should be taken inside the polling station.

Across North Norfolk district…

  • there are 83,057 eligible voters;
  • 130 polling stations will be open;
  • and 295 polling station staff will be on duty.

You can find out lots more information at the Electoral Commission’s website www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or you can contact North Norfolk District Council’s Electoral Services team on elections@north-norfolk.gov.uk

North Norfolk District Council brings Britain’s oldest breed of goat to Cromer cliff to control scrubland

A new habitat management project by NNDC hopes to keep an area of Cromer cliff under control with the introduction of goats.

7 June 2016

Eight Bagot billy goats will be released into a fenced off area in June where their grazing will keep unwanted plant species and excessive growth to a minimum.

In the past the cliff area has become overgrown, leading to a problem with litter embedded and snagged in bushes. The Bagot goats graze on rough materials rather than grass and will therefore keep plant growth over the area under control.

Cllr Angie Fitch-Tillett, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “This is an exciting project we hope the people of Cromer will be able to enjoy two-fold – for the habitat management the goats will offer and the enjoyment of having unusual animals in the town.

“Now residents and visitors will not only be able to enjoy the beautiful Cromer sunsets, but watch our Billy goats working hard to keep the town beautiful.”

The Bagot is believed to be Britain’s oldest breed of goat and unlike most other breeds - that favour mountains and uplands - it developed in the English lowlands. Bagots are hardy and easy to tame.

NNDC’s Cromer goats have been checked and monitored by a local vet and their welfare will continue to be appraised over their time on Cromer cliff. They will be surrounded by double livestock fencing that will be six foot tall at the bottom of the slope. The fences will be checked twice a day.

Cllr Fitch-Tillett added: “We must ask people not to feed or touch the goats because they have a job of work to do and we need them to not get distracted.”

The habitat grazing project was developed with support from Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the goats arrived with the District Council in April. Two came from the Dinosaur Park near Lenwade in Norfolk, and the other six from Levens Hall, Cumbria where they are raised as a semi-feral parkland breed. They have spent the past weeks getting used to one another and settling into their new group.

The goats will be released into the fenced-off area in June and remain until October or November when they will be taken to other NNDC land to graze over the winter. If the goats clear the land too rapidly they will be moved to other land for grazing.

Blue Flag success for North Norfolk

Six beaches recognised, four with world-leading Blue Flags

20 May 2016

Six of North Norfolk’s beaches have been recognised for being well-managed, excellent places to visit with high levels of cleanliness and safety.

Four beaches - Cromer, Mundesley, Sea Palling and Sheringham – have been awarded Blue Flags. The Blue Flag requires the highest quality of water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management.

Two beaches - East Runton and Wells - have won the Seaside Award. The Seaside Award guarantees visitors a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed coastal stretch.

Keep Britain Tidy, which manages the awards, say themselves that “if a beach has a Blue Flag flying it is the sign that you have arrived at one of the very best in the world”.

North Norfolk District Council Leader, Tom Fitzpatrick, said: “Put simply, we have some of the best beaches in the world in North Norfolk and these awards help to demonstrate their quality.

“There is an enormous amount of hard work behind the awards and I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to those involved.

“We should be very proud of our coastline and its quality offering throughout the year.”

‘Call for Sites’ reminder

The ‘Call for Sites’ provides an opportunity to register land within North Norfolk to be considered as a potential allocated site

10 May 2016

North Norfolk District Council is preparing a new Local Plan. The Plan will include new planning policies (used in the determination of planning applications) and will allocate areas of land to address the development needs of the District for the period 2016-2036.

The ‘Call for Sites’ provides an opportunity for developers, landowners, Parish & Town Councils, individuals and other interested parties to register land within North Norfolk to be considered as a potential allocated site.

The sites submitted could be for housing (sites capable of accommodating 5+ dwellings), employment, community facilities, open space, renewable energy, car parking or other uses.

The Call for Sites process is not restrictive in relation to where sites are suggested, but it is unlikely that sites proposed in very rural areas will be suitable locations in which to build new homes, or provide new employment. However, the information provided is essential in assessing the available land and to aid us in considering where development should be distributed under the Plan.

Each registered site will be assessed by the Council to establish the potential impact of the proposed development. Once the assessment process is complete, the Council will consider the options and undertake further consultation.

The Call for Sites registration form and guidance notes are available on the council’s website at www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/callforsites and all forms should be returned on or before May 31, 2016.

New ‘Bathing Water’ designation for West Runton

Defra decision follows NNDC request and formal consultations

6 May 2016

West Runton beach has been officially designated as a “bathing water”, a key step on the way to winning sought-after Blue Flag status.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced today that West Runton has successfully passed the tests to achieve the designation.

Beaches and inland lakes that attract a large number of bathers can be designated as bathing waters under the Bathing Water Directive. Water quality at bathing waters is tested during the bathing season, which in England runs from 15 May to 30 September.

Cllr Becky Palmer Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “The district is very proud of its four Blue Flag beaches at Cromer, Sheringham, Sea Palling and Mundesley. “The Blue Flag status helps both visitors and locals understand how clean a beach and its waters are, as well as the high quality of facilities provided. It is something which is recognised worldwide.

“Bathing water designation is one of the crucial steps on the way to winning Seaside Award status, and then Blue Flag status.”

Cllr Sarah Butikofer, ward member for the Runtons, said: “This is fantastic news for local people, local business and visitors. The quality of the beach warrants the designation, both in terms of its beautiful visual appeal and in terms of its history. We have coachloads of young people coming here on regular occasions to learn about the West Runton Mammoth, the chalk reef and the Cromer Forest Bed.”

The application for the designation was formally made by North Norfolk District Council following a local consultation. Defra ran its own consultation which was completed in March.

West Runton has RNLI Lifeguards operating from July to September, public toilets at the bottom of the gangway, car parking, bus and rail services, a café by the gangway and other food outlets and shops in the village. It also has a voluntary beach warden and a dog free area between May 1 and September 30.

RNLI lifeguard service in partnership with North Norfolk District Council returns for 10th anniversary season patrolling Norfolk beaches

The RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, first teamed up with North Norfolk District Council in 2007 to provide beach patrols at Cromer, Sheringham, Mundesley and Sea Palling.

A decade later the service has expanded along the East Anglia coast to 16 beaches, including at West Runton (new for this year), East Runton and Wells in North Norfolk, as well as beaches in the Great Yarmouth area and Suffolk.

Four veteran RNLI lifeguards have been ever present since that first day 10 years ago - Vincent Pank, Sam Kendrick, Scott Davidson and Chris Wall.

Vincent, who has risen through the ranks to become Lifeguard Manager, said: ‘We were breaking new ground when we took on the lifeguard service for North Norfolk District Council in 2007, as it was the first time RNLI lifeguards had patrolled anywhere on the east coast of the UK.

‘It’s been an incredible 10 years since then, saving lives and keeping people safe. We’ve gone from having 15 lifeguards patrolling a handful of beaches to employing around 65 people at 16 locations along the length of the Norfolk coast and into Suffolk.

‘So much has happened throughout the past decade, but most rewarding for me is seeing how our presence and reputation has grown within the communities we work in. I think we were seen as a novelty at the start, but we’ve earned the trust and respect of people who now seek out our advice, whether that is the public, lifeboat crews, emergency services or landowners.’

Leader of North Norfolk District Council Cllr Tom FitzPatrick said: ‘We’re proud of what has been achieved in partnership with the RNLI over the past 10 years.

‘Ensuring the safety of our beaches is paramount and having lifeguards on duty when North Norfolk is at its busiest means visitors and residents can have peace of mind while enjoying our beautiful coastline.

‘The lifeguards are a skilled team and our admiration and thanks go to all of them for their dedication and bravery over the past decade.’

Cllr Becky Palmer Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture said: ‘Our beaches, four of which have Blue Flag status, are enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people each year. The hard work of the RNLI lifeguards has kept these people safe.’

The wages for RNLI lifeguards along the North Norfolk coast at Cromer, Sea Palling, Sheringham, Mundesley are funded by NNDC, with training, equipment, lifeguard stations, vehicles, support services and management all provided by the RNLI.

Within the NNDC purvey there are three permanent lifeguard units at Wells, Sea Palling and Sheringham West. Temporary units have been installed at Sheringham East, West Runton, East Runton, Cromer West, Cromer East and Mundesley. They will be taken down in September.

Since 2010* RNLI lifeguards in East Anglia have saved 18 lives, rescued 177 people and given medical care 4,001 times.

RNLI lifeguards will resume patrols of five beaches in Norfolk on Saturday 7 May (Sheringham West, Cromer East, Mundesley, Sea Palling and Gorleston) and two in Suffolk on 21 May (Lowestoft South and Southwold North)

A further nine beaches will be patrolled from Saturday 2 July. These are Wells, Sheringham East, West Runton, East Runton, Cromer West, Hemsby, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft North and Southwold South.

Anyone interested in getting a job as an RNLI beach lifeguard can contact Vincent at Vincent_pank@rnli.org.uk or give him a call on 07917 581567.

NNDC hosts new exhibition inspired by Norfolk’s farming heritage

North Norfolk District Council hosts new exhibition inspired by Norfolk’s farming heritage

5 May 2016

NNDC’s public art gallery is presenting a visually bold new exhibition ‘Back to the Barn’ by local artist Catherine Hall.

The exhibition, running from May 3 to July 12, reflects Catherine’s upbringing on her family’s Norfolk livestock farm surrounded by animals, woodland and fields. Her accessible and warm representation of farm animals against bright block-colour backgrounds brings modernity to a traditional subject.

Aylmerton resident Catherine said: “‘Back to the Barn’ is extremely meaningful to me in so many ways - looking back on where I've come from and taking in all the beauty we've taken for granted around us and bringing it out on canvas. I love watching the characters emerge and recreating their personalities.”

NNDC seeks to offer free opportunities to local artists to display their work in the 1st Floor Gallery in the Council’s Holt Road offices in Cromer. Currently six exhibitions are held annually.

Cllr Becky Palmer Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture said: “It’s great to be able to offer artists a space to exhibit their works for the public to appreciate. ‘Back to the Barn’ is a super collection of paintings and prints and we are pleased to be able to host them.”

The NNDC Gallery is open to the public on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8.30am – 5pm; Wednesday 10am – 5pm and Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm.

Greenbuild 2016

The event continues to grow in popularity and this year promises to be even bigger and better, find out how you can take part

5 May 2016

With more than 100 exhibitors and 7,000 visitors Greenbuild 2015 was a great success, showcasing what can be done to protect and enhance our environment and how to live a greener more sustainable lifestyle. The event continues to grow in popularity and this year promises to be even bigger and better with more recycling and energy saving tips – check out what’s being lined up for Greenbuild 2016 running at Felbrigg Hall, 10 and 11 September.

If your business helps to protect the environment or conserve energy, if you do arts and crafts using recycled, sustainable materials for the Craft Market or make and sell homemade preserves, cakes, sauces etc for the Farmers Markets find out how you can take part in Greenbuild 2016.

Way Forward for Cabbell Park

The symbolic home of Cromer Town Football Club could remain at Cabbell Park alongside a £3.5 million pound medical centre for a three year period.

27 April 2016

In a deal put forward by landowners North Norfolk District Council and MedCentres the football clubhouse could temporarily remain on the site giving time for a new sports facility, on the edge of Cromer to be developed.

The proposals would mean the Cromer Town Football Club can continue to raise funds to support the ongoing operation of the club through the use of the clubhouse.

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “The proposal has developed as a direct result of the conversations we have been having with MedCentres. Initially we wanted to see if the clubhouse could be used by the construction company and I’m delighted that this way forward has been found.”

Under the arrangement the district council as landowners would sell the land at the front of Cabbell Park to MedCentres, arrange to lease the clubhouse back and sub-let it to Cromer Town Football Club for a 3 year period, if the planning application is successful.

Cllr FitzPatrick added: “The district council has always had the best interests of the people of Cromer at heart. We know that Cromer desperately needs a new medical centre; we also know that finding a suitable location is challenging – that’s why we have worked so hard to find a solution. We want to provide better facilities for people’s health and wellbeing in a way which meets the original bequest of Mrs Bond Cabbell, and I believe this does just that.

“It’s a win-win; a win for the people who need a health centre and a way forward that offers Cromer Town Football Club a financial lifeline.”

North Norfolk District Council has supported Cromer Town Football Club and its desire to continue to play in the Anglian Combination Football League at Cabbell Park by:

  • Draining land at the western end of Cabbell Park to ensure the realigned football pitch playing surface is to the required standard before the start of the new football season;
  • Submitting plans for a match officials’ changing rooms, which if successful could be built over the summer
  • Suggesting the use of the Cromer Academy’s outdoor sports changing rooms by football pitch users
  • Providing the ducting to support the use of floodlights on the new realigned football pitch
  • Clearly stating that car boot sales would be allowed to continue on the site during the forthcoming summer.

Mike Arnold, a Director of MedCentres, said: “We are delighted that this way forward has been found and I’m hopeful that this will mean we can push forward with the submission of a planning application for the medical centre proposal knowing that there is a way for the football club to generate income.”

Northrepps Primary School pupils take a trip through Norfolk’s WWI history

Oak Class at Northrepps Primary School yesterday (Tuesday) received certificates for completing the Pillbox Trail across North Norfolk.

27 April 2016

The trail takes in up to 14 First World War pillbox gun emplacements positioned to defend the UK from German invasion.

North Norfolk District Council Leader Cllr Tom FitzPatrick and the Council’s Chairman Annie Claussen-Reynolds congratulated the pupils on their achievement and gave them their Pillbox Trail certificates.

Cllr FitzPatrick said: “This is such an important part of our nation’s and North Norfolk’s history, and it’s great to get young people out and about walking through history. On this trail you can really imagine what it might have been like 100 years ago when our coast was threatened by invasion.”

At least 48 pillboxes were known to have been built in Norfolk during the First World War, of which 24 currently survive, the majority being in North Norfolk.

Bethany Ann Waller, 8, who received a certificate, said: “It was really interesting visiting the pillboxes. The soldiers must have been so brave. They risked their lives to protect Britain.”

The Pillbox Trail forms part of North Norfolk’s World War I Centenary Commemorations 2014-2018 and offers a unique opportunity to visit and view many of the remaining WWI pillboxes in North Norfolk.

Cllr Claussen-Reynolds said: “We’re really proud of our part in the World War I centenary commemorations with the Pillbox Trail. These vital events in history need to be remembered and understood by new generations and I’m so pleased Oak Class walked the trail and saw North Norfolk’s pillboxes and all they mean.”

Bacton to Walcott Coastal Scheme – Downing Street Meeting

A high-level meeting with Government has been held today, Monday 25 April, to discuss the Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management Scheme and its potential funding.

25 April 2016

North Norfolk District Council, Norman Lamb MP, the Environment Agency, The Crown Estate and the Operators of Bacton Gas Terminal met with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, The Right Hon Oliver Letwin MP.

The meeting, held at 9 Downing Street, discussed the potential funding and sought wider Government support for the coastal management project for the terminal and the adjacent villages of Bacton and Walcott.

The scheme, if it is delivered, could involve ‘sandscaping’ the shoreline, effectively using high volumes of additional sand and natural processes to protect the coast.

It is hoped that the scheme may attract further government funding to overcome an estimated shortfall in funds. Costs could be significantly reduced if sand could be taken from a new site offshore from Bacton.

The scheme has been modelled and work is currently underway on the environmental considerations.

The Bacton Terminal Operators may have to consider going ahead with their self-funded coastal protection scheme if funds cannot be found for a wider public scheme. This would be subject to the normal planning and consent processes and need to demonstrate mitigation for the wider coastal frontage.

Deputy Leader of North Norfolk District Council, Cllr Angie Fitch-Tillett said: “Today was a good opportunity for us to present our case at the highest level of Government so there’s a clear understanding of why this work is vital for the community.”

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said: “I believe it is essential to find a way to ensure that Bacton and Walcott benefit. It would not be acceptable for the project to be limited to protecting the gas terminal. I am grateful to Oliver Letwin for seeing us today. Now the government must find a way of ensuring that the full scheme can go ahead.”

This Girl Can Swim campaign at North Walsham swimming pool

Twice weekly women-only sessions set to begin

15 April 2016

Swimming sessions for women only are being launched at Victory Swim and Fitness Centre in North Walsham as part of the national This Girl Can campaign.

The campaign, developed by Sport England and a wide range of partnership organisations, is a celebration of active women.

The women-only sessions will soon be running twice a week at Victory, on Friday mornings and Saturday afternoons.

They are designed for women of any age who want to exercise but may not usually take part in sport or exercise, feel self-conscious or are intimidated by ‘sporty’ environments.

Victory is run by Places for People Leisure and owned by North Norfolk District Council.

“This Girl Can Swim is about giving women low pressure opportunities to do more exercise,” said Cllr Becky Palmer, North Norfolk District Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing.

“Exercise can be challenging for lots of people for many different reasons. This scheme, which has been very successful around the country, is about removing some of those challenges and opening doors which have perhaps previously been closed to some individuals.

“We want to celebrate women taking exercise, whatever their abilities.” A trained activator will be on hand to greet participants at the sessions, will guide them through how to get the most out of the swim session and will be present throughout.

“Victory will provide spotlessly clean changing rooms with a new high powered hair dryer and tea or coffee at the end for those that want to stay and socialise,” added Stuart Jardine, general manager at Victory Swim & Fitness Centre.

Sessions will be weekly on Fridays from 9am to 10am, starting on April 15, and on Saturdays from 5pm to 6pm, starting on May 7. Cost is £4.90 per session, although participants can bring a friend for free.

Participants can wear swimsuits, fitted tee-shirts and lycra based leggings.

Book your place on 01692 409370.

Cabbell Park Update - Cromer Town Football Club

8 April 2016

North Norfolk District Council became the owners of Cabbell Park under the terms of a gift by Mrs Bond Cabbell, who left the ground to the people of Cromer to allow its use for a variety of sports, including football.

Although this has been misunderstood by some individuals, it should be made clear that the ground was not gifted for the sole use of Cromer Town Football Club and this facility should always have been shared.

At the same time, the District Council has been looking to facilitate the provision of a new doctors' surgery to meet the needs of the people of Cromer and also provide adequate sports facilities for young people.

In working towards these objectives, the District Council has so far committed to investing a total of £55,000 at Cabbell Park to ensure continued use of the facility for sports, while we seek to purchase a larger replacement sports ground for the people of Cromer.

The money committed so far includes £35,000 to relocate the football pitch and £20,000 for a new changing room at the Academy, the latter specifically designed to meet the needs of Cromer Town Football Club, although it will also be used by other groups.

Leader of North Norfolk District Council, Cllr Tom FitzPatrick said: “Since taking ownership of Cabbell Park, we have done everything possible to help secure the future of Cromer Town Football Club while we plan for the future and provide improved sports facilities for Cromer.

“I am very concerned that North Norfolk District Council’s position has apparently been misrepresented at the recent football club meeting, to which we were not invited. If we had been present, we could have set out the correct position of the District Council, and very clearly restated to the club and its supporters that we have actually been fully supportive both in terms of money and our time.”

The need to move the football pitch to allow the building of the new Medical Centre was explained to Cromer Town FC back in April 2014 and there have been ongoing talks to ensure Cromer Town FC was informed and involved in the future changes.

Since April 2014 the Council has kept Cromer Town FC informed of the proposals both in writing and at face to face meetings with the club.

The District Council has:

  • Offered to store equipment;
  • Supported Cromer Town FC by allowing it to continue holding its car boot sales for the coming year;
  • Offered the use of toilets at Cromer Sports Centre on the adjoining Cromer Academy site for Cromer Town FC;
  • Offered to negotiate with the developer’s contractors for use of the Cromer Town FC clubhouse building as a site office or welfare facility ensuring additional funds for Cromer Town FC for at least 12 months;
  • Facilitated discussions with Cromer Tennis and Squash Club about use of their clubhouse facilities for spectators and members.

Cllr FitzPatrick added: “The claim in CTFC’s statement that North Norfolk District Council is ‘removing items that had previously been intended to be carried out’ is quite simply inaccurate.”

Latest Big Society Fund grants agreed

Groups encouraged to apply for next round

5 April 2016

The latest round of Big Society Fund grants have been agreed, with North Norfolk District Council supporting a wide range of community facilities including a church, village hall and bowls club.

NNDC's Big Society Fund offers grants of up to £15,000 to voluntary and community organisations based in North Norfolk.

Since the fund started in 2012, over £1,171,208 has been awarded to more than 147 community projects.

The Panel which oversees the grants meets four times a year. This time they approved grants totaling nearly £43,419. The awards are subject to organisations acceptance of formal terms and conditions.

BSF grant awards in this round were awarded to:

  • Wood Norton Parochial Church Council (£15,000) towards the installation of a lavatory with disabled facilities at All Saints Church; a Grade 2* listed building, as part of a wider restoration project.
  • Weybourne Village Hall (£15,000) for specialist removal and disposal of asbestos roof, and replacement with tiled roof.
  • Hickling Playing Field Charity (£11,999) to improve safety and access including exterior lighting at Hickling Barn.
  • Walsingham Bowls Club (£1,420) for secure lockable storage container for club equipment and new bowling green gates.

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council and Cabinet Member for Big Society, said: “The Big Society Fund continues to help fund or part-fund projects which are making a real difference to people across the district.

“The type of organisations it helps varies widely in terms of age groups, activity type and location. We are helping people in both towns and rural areas improve community venues, sporting facilities, play areas, museums, heritage and to buy defibrillators."

“I would encourage groups and organisations to realise how wide that range is and put in an application.”

If you have an idea or a project that you wish to develop and apply for funding, you are encouraged to speak to your local Councillor and get in touch with the Council (via Sonia Shuter tel. 01263 516173, email supporting.communities@north-norfolk.gov.uk) or visit www.northnorfolk.org/bigsocietyfund

The next round of applications closes on 9 May 2016.

Download the prospectus which contains comprehensive guidance to support the application process

North Lodge Park Tea Room – Licence Awarded

The opportunity to run the tea rooms at North Lodge Park has been awarded to the Friends of North Lodge Park.

18 March 2016

The opportunity to run the tea rooms at North Lodge Park has been awarded to the Friends of North Lodge Park. The award of the licence has been made after assessing a number of bids which came into North Norfolk District Council which own the Tea Rooms and North Lodge Park.

The opportunity to run the tea rooms at the park was advertised in the North Norfolk News last month providing traders in the town with the opportunity to express their interest in running the café.

Bidders had to complete a short template form setting out what they would provide both in terms of the opening hours at the park café and in terms of supporting activities in the park itself.

A number of bids were received and the bid by Barry Meadows, Secretary of the Friends of North Lodge Park was successful as it pledged to keep the café open throughout the year and to look at investing all profits back into activities in the park.

Cllr John Rest, North Norfolk District Council Cabinet Member said: “I’m delighted that the Friends’ bid has been successful and that the opportunity to run the licence for the tea rooms will now be on a commercial footing. “We wanted to ensure we were being fair to all the traders in the town and ensure that we have a formal licence in place for the coming financial year.

“We will be looking for a strategic partner in 2016 to develop a long-term strategy for North Lodge Park, which will maximise its value both for the people of Cromer but more importantly for the taxpayers of the district as a whole.”

Previously the Friends of North Lodge Park were running the tea rooms on a free of charge basis with the council picking up the costs of business rates and waiving the rental fee for the unit from last August.

North Norfolk Incubation Centre: feasibility study

Views welcome on potential new project for business start-up and growth

18 March 2016

Businesses in North Norfolk are being encouraged to take part in a feasibility study to assess how a business incubation centre could operate in North Norfolk.

The centre would help start and grow businesses in North Norfolk.

Interested parties, stakeholders and potential users of the facilities and services at such a centre have been asked to give their views to consultants.

People in the commercial world will be asked for their ideas about what it should do and where it should be. The scheme is being promoted by North Norfolk District Council which is keen to give new and emerging businesses support and space to help them flourish.

Cllr Nigel Dixon, North Norfolk District Council Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “The growth of the North Norfolk economy is of crucial importance to the future prosperity of our district. “Improving job opportunities, encouraging young businesses and assisting growth are all key elements of our corporate plan – and this feasibility study is going to help us look closely at what could be included in an incubation centre.

“I would encourage as many interested parties as possible to take part.”

The business consultation and exploratory work are being carried out by the Nwes (Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services) agency and Lowestoft consultancy Nautilus Associates.

An online survey is asking businesses across North Norfolk about the potential services and demand which will help shape the type of centre needed and the best location in the district.

Kevin Horne, CEO of Nwes said: "We are consulting to establish local views to inform the optimum combination of physical facilities and business support services which would create an innovative environment for business formation and growth, and for employment opportunities. The actual shape of the centre will be hugely influenced by what local businesses feel their area needs."

Nautilus will explore potential sources of funding. They will also look into possible links with the national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) agenda, seeking to promote education and development in these key subject areas.

Take part in the online survey

Business leaders can contribute to the study by contacting Nwes on 0333 370 4429, by emailing andrew.wilson@nwes.org.uk, or by visiting www.nwes.org.uk

Easter bonanza of egg-citing activities from North Norfolk District Council!

Let us take the headache out of the school holidays with our events and activities programme this Easter.

17 March 2016

Here at North Norfolk District Council we’re not eggs-aggerating the fun on offer this Easter holiday!

From archery to roller discos, from Easter egg hunts to nature trails, football, gymnastics and Ultimate Frisbee, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Cllr Becky Palmer, Cabinet member for Leisure and Health, said: “There’s so much going on this Easter, we really hope everyone will join in and find an activity they love. Whether it’s at the gentle pace of learning about nature or tearing round the football pitch, it’s great just taking part.”

This year’s Easter Holiday sports activities start on Tuesday March 29 at both Cromer and North Walsham Sports Centres and end on Friday April 8. With more than 20 activities on offer there’s no end of fun to be had.

And for all ages that need to boogie, there are fancy dress roller discos on Easter Saturday March 26, while at Pretty Corner Woods and Bacton Woods there are Easter Egg Trails on April 4 and April 7 respectively. Both trails start at 10am and cost £5 per child.

At Holt Country Park on April 1, for all those with a love of nature, there’s a day of activities that will help you identify ‘mini beasts’ and learn the differences between frogs, toads and newts.

And if you’ve got your diaries out why not plan further ahead? For the 22nd year in a row, Stalham sports centre will host a week of fun sports and activities from August 8-12 for just £90 for the whole week.

For information on all North Norfolk District Council’s activities and to book, go to www.north-norfolk.org/book or pick up a leaflet in your local sports centre.

Court disqualifies pair for running riding school without licence

North Norfolk District Council wins case after riding establishment kept open despite being refused licence

17 March 2016

Norwich magistrates’ court yesterday (Wednesday March 16) fined a mother and son £1,000 for operating a riding establishment without a licence.

Rosemary Fabb and son Benjamin Fabb were also disqualified from keeping a riding school for five years.

Cllr Judy Oliver Cabinet member for Licensing said: “This is an important outcome for the Council. The disqualification of the defendants for five years and the fines awarded in the case show that these breaches of licensing regulation will not be tolerated and are taken seriously by the courts.”

The court heard that North Norfolk District Council had refused a licence to the Fabbs of Fern Bank, Carr Lane, Roughton in January 2015 due to serious concerns identified by the Veterinary Inspector relating to the health and welfare of the horses. Despite having no licence and the concerns reported to the Fabbs by NNDC, the pair continued to advertise riding lessons on their website, there were eye-witness accounts of riding lessons continuing at the establishment, and a covert surveillance operation organised by NNDC and carried out by an officer from another local authority, resulted in them being given a riding lesson.

The prosecution outlined the fact the Fabbs had operated in 2011 without a licence.

Mrs and Mr Fabb’s guilty pleas were taken into account, resulting in a reduction of the fines from £750 to £500 each. They were also ordered to pay £1300 prosecution costs and £50 surcharge. The total for each defendant is £1850.

The magistrates noted a considerable amount of work had gone into establishing the facts and evidence of the case and that Mrs and Mr Fabb knew they needed a licence. They accepted money for riding school services, described by the defendants as donations, but the magistrates saw it as receipt of money.

Court fines developer £25,000 for cutting down protected trees

North Norfolk District Council wins court case after Tree Preservation Order is breached

16 March 2016

Kings Lynn magistrates’ court this week (Wednesday March 9) fined a company and its director £25,000 for felling two trees.

The 40ft-tall lime trees on a development site in Fakenham were protected by a Tree Preservation Order. The felling of the trees by Bobyk Developments Limited and Jody Bobyk took place after Mr Bobyk was told by North Norfolk District Council that they would not be given permission to cut the trees down for better construction access to his building site.

Cabinet member for Planning and Planning Policy Cllr Sue Arnold: “This is an excellent result. This ruling sends a message to all developers that they cannot ignore conditions of planning permission and Tree Preservation Orders. TPOs are put in place to prevent the deliberate damage or destruction of trees with considerable public value, whether a single tree, group or woodland. Those who wilfully disregard these orders face significant fines and we hope today’s decision will make people see how seriously a breach of these orders is taken by the courts.”

The magistrates said that developers were subject to the planning laws and that in this case there had been a disregard totally for those laws, and that they had been told by the District Council the trees should not be cut down.

Bobyk Developments Ltd and director Jody Bobyk pleaded guilty to all charges. The company was fined £10,000 per tree for causing the trees to be cut down contrary to a Tree Preservation Order, £2,423 prosecution costs, and £1,000 victim surcharge. Jody Bobyk was fined £2,500 per tree as a director for consenting to causing the trees to be cut down. He was ordered to pay £1,211.50 prosecution costs and £250 victim surcharge. The full total coming to £29,884.50.

Get ahead of the game with free start-up business workshops

Anyone considering starting their own business is being urged to take the opportunity to attend one of a new series of free start-up workshops running in North Norfolk.

11 March 2016

The half-day workshops will be delivered by local Enterprise Agency Nwes, supported by North Norfolk District Council and funded by the European Regional Development Fund to guide aspiring entrepreneurs through the main areas to consider when setting up a business, giving a firm foundation on which to trade successfully. The workshops require no previous business experience and will cover finance, market research, legal requirements and business planning so that those attending will have a real understanding of the critical areas to focus on to make their business a success.

Cllr Nigel Dixon, cabinet member for business and economic development said: “These workshops are an excellent opportunity for anyone thinking of setting up a new business. It’s a chance to learn and grow in confidence, while also seeing business ideas from different angles.”

The programme includes sessions in North Walsham and Cromer with the first event in Fakenham on 24th March. Those attending will also be able to receive free business advice after the scheduled programme of events.

The new programme follows similar successful start-up programmes run by Nwes where attendees described the workshops as being the catalyst for “changing the way I look at my business” and an “excellent investment of time” that “stopped me making some basic mistakes”.

Andrew Wilson Nwes Head of Enterprise Services said “These workshops focus on the basics of starting a business properly helping the new business owner to concentrate on putting the right foundations in place to give them the best chance of business success. The sessions are delivered by our team who support hundreds of people to start trading each year and have a huge amount of experience and insight to tap into. It’s a great opportunity for North Norfolk start-ups to get ahead of the game.”

To find out more about the Business Workshop programme please contact Nwes on 0845 6099991 info@nwes.org.uk

Resurfacing of Cromer’s iconic promenade to begin next week

Final stage of town’s Coastal Protection Scheme gets underway.

10 March 2016

The £8million pound Cromer Coast Protection Scheme which restarted in September last year is close to completion, with the final stage starting Monday March 14.

Letters outlining access and parking arrangements have been given to residents, and copied to traders, RNLI, fishermen and all of the Emergency Services.

Cllr Tom Fitzpatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “This vital project will help protect Cromer for years to come. We’re in the final phase and we have worked hard to minimise the impact on residents and businesses while ensuring the town can benefit from the Coast Protection Scheme when the summer season arrives.”

The surface removal will start on the east end by the Gangway and work westwards to finish at the Melbourne Slope. A parking area on the lower portion of the Gangway will be allocated for residents’ parking only and will only apply to the time when the Promenade is being resurfaced and closed to all traffic.

In ideal conditions, the surfacing works could be finished by the end of March but with poor weather likely to hamper progress, substantial completion is expected in early April.

Plan to introduce on-street parking meters scrapped

A controversial plan to introduce on-street parking meters to Cromer and Sheringham has been stopped in its tracks after the District Council urged a rethink.

10 March 2016

A controversial plan to introduce on-street parking meters to Cromer and Sheringham has been stopped in its tracks after the District Council urged a rethink.

A statement was sent to officers of the Norfolk Parking Partnership Joint Committee setting out NNDC’s concerns.

Cllr John Rest, North Norfolk District Council Cabinet Member for assets said: “This is a great result. It’s been a huge worry to the people in our district and Norfolk Parking Partnership has made the right decision.

“As Cabinet member I invited ward members in to talk through the county’s proposals; at that meeting councillors were keen for all options to be explored to see if the costs of parking enforcement could be reduced or if parking could be enforced more locally.

“Our belief is that more time needs to be spent looking into the issue in far more detail and that if this approach had been adopted in the first place it would have given a full understanding of the options and opportunities.”

At the meeting councillors agreed to ask whether the Norfolk Parking Partnership Joint Committee had fully explored all the options for reducing the costs of parking enforcement before looking to raise additional funds from putting in parking meters.

Councillor Mick Castle from Norfolk County Council said in an interview with North Norfolk Radio: "The plan has been scrapped and will not be forced on Cromer and Sheringham."

The councillors present at the meeting were Cllr John Rest (Cabinet Member for Assets), Cllr Judy Oliver (Cabinet Member for Legal Services and Ward Member for Sheringham South) Cllr Nigel Pearce (Ward Member Suffield Park, Cromer) Cllr Richard Shepherd (Ward Member Sheringham South) and Cllr John Lee (Ward Member Suffield Park, Cromer).

Cllr Judy Oliver, Cabinet Member for Legal Services and Ward Member for Sheringham South added: “Any changes to the present car parking enforcement scheme must be carefully considered, evidence-based and rational. A scheme that does not meet those criteria would be vulnerable to challenge by way of judicial review. We are keen to establish a way forward that is reasonable, fair and effective and we will consider all options to achieve that result.”

Cllr Nigel Pearce, Ward Member for Suffield Park, Cromer, added: “I’m really pleased with the decision to drop the proposed on-street parking plans. If it had gone through it would have taken money out of the area without bringing any benefit to our two seaside towns.”

‘Sandscaping’ to protect coast from extreme weather

Work to look at improving the coastal defences to Bacton Gas Terminal and neighbouring villages is continuing.

4 March 2016

One option which is being considered is to ‘sandscape’ the beach with high volumes of additional sand, in order to help protect the coast from extreme weather.

It is thought this approach, trialled by the Dutch successfully, would be the most effective and it could be achieved either by putting sand on the beach periodically, or in one go.

Cllr Angie Fitch-Tillett, Deputy Leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “We are working with the Terminal operators to see what we can do together. This option has the potential to help buy time for our villages, potentially extending the life of the existing defences by 20 years giving people time to plan and adapt to the changing coastline.”

Norman Lamb MP said: “Work on this scheme is of the utmost importance. It is clearly critical that Bacton Gas Terminal, a strategically important site, is protected against further coastal erosion. However, it is also essential that when works are carried out to protect the gas terminal, every opportunity is explored to seek to improve the coastal management situation for the adjacent villages of Bacton and Walcott.”

North Norfolk District Council, the operators of Bacton Gas Terminal and the Environment Agency are investigating this option and how it could be funded. Discussion is also underway with The Crown Estate which manages offshore sand resources.

Government funding is not available for the defence of the Bacton Gas Terminal so the operators are looking at how they can fund the protection of the nationally important asset themselves.

A scheme to enhance the protection of the villages is potentially eligible for government funding; however, there remains an estimated shortfall in funds which could be significantly reduced if sand could be taken from a site offshore from Bacton.

Further work is now underway to investigate any environmental impact of such a new licensed extraction area, before a view can be taken about whether that option could be considered further.

It is understood that if funds cannot be found for the wider public scheme then Bacton Gas Terminal operators would have to press ahead with the scheme for the Terminal only.

Solar Power Crushes Cromer Litter

Revolutionary smart litter bin piloted in Cromer

26 February 2016
solar bin

A revolutionary smart litter bin powered by solar energy is being trialled by North Norfolk District Council in Cromer.

The ‘smart’ solar powered litter bin crushes rubbish down to stop litter being blown around the town. The trial of the bin started on 10 February and runs through to Easter.

The ‘Clean Cube’ is a compactor litter bin near to No1 Fish and Chip Shop in Cromer. It’s larger than a normal litter bin and when the litter reaches a certain height it compacts the waste within by using a hydraulic ram.

Cllr Angie Fitch-Tillett, North Norfolk District Council Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “We are trialling this new bin to see how successful it could be in reducing the volume of waste so that our bins can be used for longer. I think it’s great that we’re putting smart technology to work to help protect the environment.”

The solar powered Clean Cube can hold up to eight times the amount of litter of a normal litter bin; and the solar panel uses daylight to charge the internal battery.

The ‘smart’ solar bin also tells the team how full it is and when it was last emptied. It is hoped that the trial, which took place over the half-term break will be a good test of what it can do.

North Lodge Park Tea Room - Update

The opportunity to run the tea rooms at North Lodge Park will be advertised in the North Norfolk News this week.

23 February 2016
North Lodge Park Tea Rooms

Currently the Friends of North Lodge Park are running the tea rooms on a free of charge basis with the council picking up the costs of business rates and waiving the rental fee for the unit from last August.

The advert will call for all interested parties to put forward their proposals to run the park tea rooms and demonstrate the added value they can bring to the area.

Cllr John Rest, North Norfolk District Council Cabinet Member for Assets said: “We are extremely grateful to the Friends for their hard work since August in helping to regenerate this area of the park.

“We need to be fair to all traders in town and provide an opportunity for all interested parties, including the Friends, to operate the tea room on a commercial basis from this April.”

The advert makes it clear the Council is looking for an expected rental income of £3,500, a benchmark rate, for an annual licence running from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 and for the bids to demonstrate how they benefit the area.

Cromer Scheme Close to Completion

The £8 million pound Cromer Coast Protection Scheme which restarted in September last year is close to completion, with the final stage being the resurfacing of Cromer’s iconic Promenade.

22 February 2016
Cromer Pier

Letters outlining the final stages of the work have been given to traders and retailers along the Promenade from Melbourne Slope to the Gangway to explain what will be happening between now and the end of March.

Due to the nature of the work the area between Melbourne Slope and the Gangway will be cordoned off from the public as the surface of the promenade has to be cut away exposing manhole covers, gullies and other ironwork before being resurfaced later.

Special arrangements are being made to open up pedestrian access to as many retailers as possible over the Easter weekend period.

During the Easter weekend vehicle access will be restricted to drop-offs for people with disabilities attending Pier shows and special parking arrangements will be made for residents.

  • A pedestrian corridor will give access from the Gangway to the Pier and east end shops over the Easter weekend.
  • There will be access to the west end amusement arcade via the steps from the top of Melbourne Slope.

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “The Cromer Coast Protection Scheme is vitally important. It will protect Cromer, its residents, its businesses and its visitors for many years to come.

“Throughout the period of the work we have been focused on keeping Cromer open for business and we have been meeting with traders and working with our contractor Volker Stevin to see how we can minimise the impact on businesses while ensuring the town can benefit from the work this summer season.”

All of the businesses along the Promenade have been consulted throughout the scheme and it is believed that pressing forward on the resurfacing work now would enable the town to benefit from the new surface this summer and be less disruptive and less costly than looking to schedule the work after the 2016 summer season.

Council Gains Gold in International Employers’ Award

North Norfolk District Council Achieves Investors in People Gold Award

20 January 2016
Investors in People Gold Award

North Norfolk District Council has been awarded the Investors in People Gold Award for being an excellent employer.

Gold is the highest level of recognition which organisations can achieve and is only given to those that are able to demonstrate a degree of excellence in the way they develop and support their staff.

The international standard has been awarded to the district council following an in-depth assessment carried out in December 2015 in which members of staff were interviewed by two independent assessors.

Chief Executive of North Norfolk District Council Sheila Oxtoby said: “I’m incredibly proud that we’ve achieved this award for the Council and more importantly for the residents and businesses that we serve. I would like to thank all the staff and believe it is well-deserved.”

In the assessors’ letter to the Council they state: “The standard is a very challenging one to meet and is increasingly seen as a measure of a quality employer. Your success not only reflects your own commitment, but it is also an acknowledgement of the effort of everyone who works for the organisation.”

The report found that the Council had met 180 of 196 indicators and should therefore receive the Investors in People Gold Award. The council had previously been given a ‘bronze’ award by Investors in People in July 2013.

Inspectors praised the Council’s culture of openness and trust, its socially responsible policies and practices, its approach to learning and development of staff and the work of the council’s staff focus group.

The ten areas covered by Investors in People Standard are:

  • Plan – Business Strategy; Learning and Development Strategy, People Management Strategy; Leadership and Management Strategy
  • Do – Management Effectiveness; Recognition & Reward; Involvement & Empowerment; Learning & Development
  • Review – Performance Measurement; Continuous Improvement;

The Investors in People Standard is a sign of a great employer. Find out more at www.investorsinpeople.com

Better Services, Better Value for Money

DWP @ Council Offices

20 January 2016
dwp

Better services and better value for money will result from the Department for Work and Pensions move to North Norfolk District Council’s offices in Holt Road, Cromer.

The 14-strong team moved into the building on Monday 11 January 2016 and started to run their services from the Council offices on the same day.

A total of 170m2 office space was created by moving teams within the existing building and reducing the need for storage space. This has enabled the DWP to have their own public waiting area, and for DWP clients to use the Council’s self-serve computers to access services directly.

The DWP’s move from Garden Street offices in Cromer provides an opportunity to bring services together in one location. It will also help to reduce the cost of services by sharing the building.

Cllr John Rest, North Norfolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Assets said: “As an authority we have to make the most of the resources we have, especially our offices. I’m delighted to be welcoming the Department for Work and Pensions to our offices in Holt Road.
“We know we need to operate as cost-effectively as possible, and sharing our office space is a good way to generate income and provide customers with a more joined up service. With the public services under one roof my hope is that it will be a lot easier for people to get the support they need.”

Julia Nix, District Manager for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “This is my second co location site to move into North Norfolk District Council’s Premises. By moving into the Local Authorities premises we will be making more effective use of space and facilities, while making significant savings for the taxpayer.
“The move also represents an excellent opportunity for DWP to build stronger working links with North Norfolk District Council to work together to help our customers move closer to employment and provide a better all-round quality service”.

The Council office building, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, houses Norfolk County Council Children’s Services, the Early Years Intervention Team and eastlaw – the Council’s legal services company which sells its services to others.

Voters asked to refresh their signatures

Letters have been sent out on Friday 8 January to people who have voted via postal vote or postal proxy vote for more than five years asking them to refresh their signature.

11 January 2016
Signature refresh

More than 800 letters have been sent to voters in the district who have been voting by postal vote or postal proxy vote for more than five years asking them to return a form with a fresh signature.

Returning the completed form by 19 February 2016 will ensure that they will remain eligible to vote in future elections without having to apply to vote in this way again. Reminder notices will be sent to those who have not returned their form by 9 February 2016.

People are being urged to complete the form before the deadline date 19 February 2016 or their right to vote by post will be removed and they will have to reapply to vote in this way.

Cllr Judy Oliver, Cabinet Member for Democratic Services at North Norfolk District Council said: “I would urge people who do exercise their democratic right to vote in this way to return the form if they receive one.

“If people who have been voting by postal proxy or postal vote for more than five years want to carry on voting in this way please return the form rather than having to reapply later on.”

The work is being done to help prevent postal vote fraud and to reflect the natural change in someone’s signature over a five year period.

If people have any questions about the process please contact Electoral Services at register@north-norfolk.gov.uk or call on 01263 516046/516317.

Cromer and Wells benefit from £100,000 government grant

Coastal Revival Fund helps two heritage sites in North Norfolk

11 December 2015
Coastal Revival Fund

A £100,000 government grant will help breathe new life into two heritage sites in North Norfolk.

The Cromer West prom Art Deco block renovation and the Wells Maltings Project have been awarded £50,000 each under the national Coastal Revival Fund scheme.

The purpose of the Coastal Revival Fund is to help kick-start the revival of at-risk heritage sites that have potential to create opportunities for new businesses and jobs.

It seeks to support communities looking to unlock the economic potential of those hard-to-tackle buildings, facilities and amusements such as piers, lidos and proms.

The Cromer grant will be used by North Norfolk District Council to support the renovation and rejuvenation of the Cromer West promenade Art Deco chalet block. The block was severely damaged in the storms which ravaged the North Norfolk coast in December 2013.

The Wells grant will help the Wells Maltings Trust develop a landmark heritage, arts and community project in the Grade II former Maltings building in the centre of this rural, coastal community.
The building will be transformed into a community space, heritage and learning centre, auditorium, café and central box office and tourist information centre.
The Coastal Revival Fund money will pay to refurbish, repair and reconfigure the existing Maltings building.

Cabinet Member for Assets Cllr John Rest said: “Both the Cromer and Wells projects support the local economy and help create income for the community.
“We appreciate the fact that both of these bids were successful and look forward to the projects proceeding in the new year.”

Becky Jefcoate, Wells Maltings Project Development Manager, said: “We are very excited to hear the good news about the Coastal Revival Find, which will help us transform the Maltings into a landmark visitor attraction next year for local people and visitors to enjoy.”

Latest Big Society Fund grants agreed

Groups encouraged to apply for next round

11 December 2015
More money awarded from Council's Big Society Fund

The latest round of Big Society Fund grants have been agreed, with North Norfolk District Council supporting a wide range of groups, including musicians, young footballers and girl guides.

NNDC's Big Society Fund offers grants of up to £15,000 to voluntary and community organisations based in North Norfolk.

Since the fund started in 2012, in excess of £1,000,000 has been awarded to more than 100 community projects.

The committee which oversees the grants meets four times a year. This time they approved grants totaling nearly £27,500. The awards are subject to each group agreeing to formal terms and conditions.

BSF grant awards in this round were awarded to:

  • Stalham Brass Band (£3,000) towards musical instruments. The band offers opportunities for children aged 6 to 16 who attend schools in the Stalham area to learn to read music and play brass instruments.
  • High Kelling Society (£4,199) to buy portable, easy to assemble staging to be used in the village hall for social and cultural events. The staging will help increase the use of the hall, which until now has had no stage or raised platform.
  • Sheringham Girl Guiding (£5,000) for conversion of a cupboard to a purpose built level access shower and toilet at the guides’ headquarters. In the past limited facilities have been highlighted as a reason why the headquarters is not used more by external organisations.
  • Happisburgh Hammers Youth Football (£2,300) to buy football goals, football kits and match footballs to accommodate the increased club membership numbers and age range. The Hammers were established last year by a group of local parents concerned about the lack of opportunity for their children to play youth football.
  • Northrepps Parish Council (£3,675) for the replacement of play equipment at Northrepps Adventure Playground, to improve and enhance provision for children of all ages.
  • North Walsham Gymnastics Club (£9,248) towards a larger project called Dream, Believe, Achieve, which will enable the club to move into and furnish a new venue with gym equipment and build toilet and changing facilities.

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council and Cabinet Member for Big Society, said: “The Big Society Fund continues to help fund or part-fund projects which are making a real difference to people across the district.
“The type of organisations it helps varies widely in terms of age groups, activity type and location.
“We are helping people in both towns and rural areas improve sporting facilities, play areas, music bands, museums, heritage, lunch clubs and to buy defibrillators.
“I would encourage groups and organisations to realise how wide that range is and put in an application.”

If you have an idea or a project that you wish to develop and apply for funding, you are encouraged to speak to your local Councillor and get in touch with the Council (via Sonia Shuter tel. 01263 516173, email supporting.communities@north-norfolk.gov.uk) or visit www.northnorfolk.org/bigsocietyfund

The next round of applications closes on 8 February 2016.

Download the prospectus which contains comprehensive guidance to support the application process

Pigs in the Park

a curly tail…

26 November 2015
large black pigs

Countryside rangers at North Norfolk District Council have struck up a deal with a Norfolk pig grazier to help reduce dense bracken and bramble in a section of Holt Country Park.

The innovative approach to keeping bramble and bracken at bay will see six Large Black Pigs let free to munch their way through the undergrowth.

If left to grow unchecked the bracken and bramble would smother out other species of plant and make it harder for them to flourish.

The pigs will be let free to roam in a 20mx20m area in Holt Country Park on Monday 30 November.

The pigs, owned by Mark Tasker of Wildwood Farm in North Elham, have come hot-foot from Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.

Cllr Becky Palmer, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at North Norfolk District Council said: “I think this is fantastic. It makes perfect sense to use the pigs’ natural instincts to curb the dense bracken and bramble and I hope that this idea really catches on for other areas of the district.

“We will post warning signs up in the park and make sure the signs are visible from the path so country park visitors and dog walkers are aware.”

People are being urged not to feed the pigs as Foot and Mouth disease can be spread from kitchen scraps; and dog walkers are being asked to keep their dogs on a lead in this small area for the benefit of the pigs and dogs.

The pigs will be kept in a 20m x 20m area that will be penned in and provided with everything they need, a warm shelter, water and some supplementary feed. They will also be checked at least twice a day to ensure the highest standard of animal welfare.

A survey of the ground flora will be taken before and after and compared to other areas of the park where bracken and bramble has been thinned without pigs.

The Large Black has lop ears with a long deep body and a placid temperament. For more information about the breed check out the Large Black Pig Breeders Club.

Community Sports Centres offer pre-Christmas activities

Christmas Roller Discos and a wide range of sport

24 November 2015
Christmas events

A wide ranging line up of children's activities has been organised at North Norfolk District Council-managed community sports centres during the run up to Christmas.

The varied sessions have been designed to offer healthy and fun activity for four to 12 year-olds, while helping busy parents meet the challenge of school holiday childcare.

Both Cromer and North Walsham sports centres will host three days of activities from December 21 to 23. The sessions are aimed mainly at seven to 12 year-olds, with one activity for four to seven year-olds.

Staff at North Walsham Sports Centre will hold an Activity Day featuring various sports and a quiz on Monday, December 21, from 9.30am to 2.30pm. On Tuesday, December 22, there will be a Pirates session from 9.30am to 11am; Capture the Flag from 11.15am to 12.45pm; and Dodgeball from 1pm to 2.30pm. On Wednesday, December 23, there will be a Football Fun Day from 9.30am to 2.30pm. All are open to seven to 12 year-olds.

At Cromer Sports Centre on Monday, December 21, there will be Football from 9.30am to 11am; Capture the Flag from 11.15am to 12.45pm; and Dodgeball from 1pm to 2.30pm. On Tuesday, December 22, there will be Rocket Sports from 11.15am to 12.45pm; and Basketball from 1pm to 2.30pm. On Wednesday, December 23, there will be an Activity Day from 9.30am to 2.30pm. All are open to seven to 12 year olds. There will also be a Playground Games session on Tuesday, December 22, from 9.30am to 11am, for four to seven year-olds.

All day activities are priced at £9.50. Shorter sessions are priced at £2.50.

On Saturday, December 19, there will be a special treat for roller skating enthusiasts.
All three Council community sports centres at Cromer, North Walsham and Stalham, will hold Christmas Fancy Dress Roller Discos. All sessions have a strict 80 skater limit and there will be prizes for the best costumes. The Cromer disco will run from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, the Stalham disco from 4pm to 6pm and the North Walsham disco from 7pm to 9pm.

Cabinet Member for Leisure, Health and Wellbeing Cllr Becky Palmer said: "As a Council we promote all sorts of healthy activities for a wide range of ages.
"These pre-Christmas sports centre sessions promise to be both fun and healthy.
"Please come and get involved, your child may discover a sport or an interest which they have never had the chance to try before."

You can book online at www.northnorfolk.org/book

Council to provide free parking on the weekend before Christmas

No charges on December 19 and 20

24 November 2015
Free car parking introduced across north Norfolk

Parking in North Norfolk District Council’s car parks will be free over the weekend before Christmas (19 and 20 December).

The Council has decided to once again waive the parking charges prior to Christmas, as in previous years.

The decision supports North Norfolk's businesses and traders by encouraging people to buy their Christmas gifts and supplies in their local towns. At a crucial time of year for the retail community, it is also a gesture of goodwill for the festive season in response to requests from businesses.

Cabinet Member for Assets Cllr John Rest said: "At such an important time of the year for retailers, it is vital that the Council supports local businesses.

"There are scores of excellent shops across the district offering a wide range of goods and services.

"By providing this weekend of free car parking, we hope to encourage people to use that wealth of provision."

On December 19 and 20, shoppers will be able to stay throughout the day without a ticket in any North Norfolk District Council run car park, saving them up to £1.20 an hour.

RAF West Raynham Development Brief

Public urged to have their say

17 November 2015
RAF West Raynham

A development brief for the former RAF West Raynham site has been submitted to North Norfolk District Council.

The public are being invited to have their say on the proposal which acts as a ‘masterplan’ for the 158 acre site before Monday 14 December 2015. The proposal has been submitted on behalf of FW Properties by Lanpro Services.

It proposes the creation of up to 500 new homes and the creation of 37,000sq metres of work space with potential to provide 1,400 new jobs through a mixture of new build and conversion / re-use of existing buildings.

The brief also outlines how the site could support sport and recreation with a children’s play area, an existing gym which could be refurbished as well as squash and tennis courts.

The former RAF airbase was developed as an airbase in 1937-1939 and closed in 1994, the development brief outlines how the brownfield land site could be used as a ‘sustainable heritage garden village’.

The site houses a range of former RAF buildings including hangers, the Station Headquarters, Officers’ Mess, and a Grade II listed post-War Control Tower.

The full development brief is on the Council’s web site and North Norfolk District Council is urging people to have their say.

The district council, acting as the planning authority, will have to decide whether to adopt the proposed development brief, either as it is or with proposed changes. If it is accepted then future planning applications will be judged against it.

Any comments/observations should be sent to the District Council under ref: DB/15/0001 using the email: planning@north-norfolk.gov.uk

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “I would urge people to have a look at the development brief and give their views. This is a major proposal for homes and jobs in our district and the development brief will help the Council to judge any future planning applications – that’s why it’s so important for people to have their say now.”

Once the consultation is complete it is expected that the council will consider the proposal at the Cabinet meeting in early February.

Cromer Pier toilets in line for national award

Shortlisted for Loo of the Year

17 November 2015
Cromer Pier

North Norfolk District Council’s refurbished toilets on Cromer’s iconic pier are in the mix for a national award.

The North Norfolk District Council entry to the 2015 Loo of the Year Awards has been shortlisted, with winners due to be announced in early December.

Winners of national awards (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) then have the chance to compete for the UK Award, which is announced on the night.

National and UK awards will be announced and presented at an event on Friday 4th December at the St Johns Hotel in Solihull.

The Cromer Pier toilets were refurbished following severe damage incurred during the destructive storm of December 2013. The toilets feature energy saving lighting and dementia friendly signage.

Cabinet Member for Assets Cllr John Rest said: “The shortlisting is clear recognition of the quality of work carried out on the Cromer Pier facilities. Excellent public toilet facilities contribute to a good first impression among our thousands of visitors.

“Following the storm in late 2013 there was a great deal of repair and refurbishment work carried out along several sections of the council’s coastline and this was part of that successful project.

“We have had previous success at these same awards for toilets at Happisburgh and Sheringham, and we hope to repeat that success.”

The Cromer toilets were refurbished by Thrower & Rutland and designed by SMG Architects of Sheringham – the same team was responsible for the Happisburgh and Sheringham projects.

Interim Shared Management Agreed

Two Norfolk district councils will share a Chief Executive and S151 Officer on an interim basis.

23 October 2015
Shared Services

At North Norfolk District Council’s Full Council meeting on Wednesday 21 October, following a constructive debate councillors unanimously agreed to the interim shared arrangement which will see Chief Executive Sheila Oxtoby shared with Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

As well as sharing the Chief Executive role North Norfolk District Council’s Section 151, Chief Finance Officer, Karen Sly, will also take up an interim shared role for Great Yarmouth.
The new interim arrangements will begin from 7 November and enable both authorities to test out the shared management approach while a business case is worked up with Elected Members from each authority on the opportunity for sharing services.

Cllr Graham Plant, Leader at Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “This is a good opportunity for Great Yarmouth to test out whether shared management can work both for ourselves and our neighbours in North Norfolk.”

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, Leader at North Norfolk District Council added: “It’s a unique chance to get first-hand experience of what it will mean in practice to share a Chief Executive and a Chief Finance Officer and will allow both authorities to be better informed about what a shared arrangement would mean in practice.”

Orchestras Live Comes to Cromer – London Mozart Players

The Orchestras Live North Norfolk concerts conclude in Cromer on Saturday 28 November at 7.30pm with the London Mozart Players supported by Sheringham and Cromer Choral Society.

22 October 2015
Orchestras Live comes to Cromer

The finale features the exceptionally talented London Mozart Players, performing with Sheringham and Cromer Choral Society. An evening of 20th century classics is promised, including the beautiful County Premier of Vespers by Norfolk-based composer Richard Allain, showcasing north Norfolk’s most illustrious choral tones and John Adams's exciting piece of continuous music Shaker Loops, giving this concert a strong contemporary feel as well as celebrating great English and Norfolk compositions.

London Mozart Players with Sheringham & Cromer Choral Society
Saturday 28 November, 7.30pm Cromer Parish Church
Charles Hubert Parry,  I was Glad
John Adams,    Shaker Loops
Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Richard Allain,   Vespers

Conductor: Harry Ogg
Soprano: Rosamund Walton
Mezzo Soprano: Evie Anderson
Tenor: Oliver White
Organ: David Ballard

Tickets £15 (under 18s FREE) are available from Sheringham Little Theatre Box Office:
T. 01263 822347 E. boxoffice@sheringhamlittletheatre.com 
W. www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com