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Flags out for north Norfolk beaches!

Keep Britain Tidy has announced the winners of this year’s Blue Flag and Seaside Awards and once again, north Norfolk’s beaches are the place to be!

20 May 2015
Wells beach - first time winner of the Seaside Award

Flying the flag for North Norfolk’s seaside resorts this year are Sheringham, Cromer, Mundesley and Sea Palling. All four are continuing the standard of excellence that was recognised with the awards of Blue Flag status last year.

We're celebrating an extra award this year; alongside East Runton beach which has been awarded a Seaside Award for the second year running, Wells-next-the-Sea beach has won the coveted award for the first time. The Seaside Award is in recognition of high standards of beach management.

Each award-winning north Norfolk beach has scooped the awards based on offering visitors great facilities, a litter free and safe environment and, in the case of the Blue Flag awards, meeting the highest international water quality requirements.

Leader, Tom FitzPatrick, said: “We are absolutely delighted that four of North Norfolk’s Blue Flag resort beaches have retained their awards this year and it is fantastic news that Wells-next-the-Sea has joined East Runton as a Seaside Award-winning beach for the first time.

“We are immensely proud of our coastal resorts and these awards are testament to the hard work that goes on to ensure that North Norfolk beaches are among the best beaches in the country and allows us to keep the Blue Flags flying.

“Our award-winning beaches are a wonderful place for both residents and visitors to enjoy; they put North Norfolk firmly on the map as a first-class visitor destination.”

Want to hire a beach hut on one of our award-winning beaches?  Or bring the kids to the seaside for one our beach events?  See our beaches webpage for more information.

 

Call for entries for Graham Allen Awards 2015

Could your renovation project or new building be in line for a prestigious award?

20 May 2015
Last year's winner - Bessingham Manor

Renovation projects and new buildings that sensitively capture the distinctive character of our local architecture could be in line for a prestigious award from the Council.

North Norfolk has a history of producing high quality innovative developments and renovation projects, and entries are now being sought for this year’s Graham Allen Awards, our annual awards for excellence in conservation and design. The closing date for entries is Tuesday 30 June.

The awards were inaugurated in 1982 as a memorial to the late G.S. Allen, our first Chairman, to recognise the scheme that makes the biggest contribution to north Norfolk’s unique built heritage.

Winners have ranged from an extension to Binham Priory, refurbishment of the Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market, and last year’s winner, the restoration of Bessingham Manor.

For more information, or an entry form, please visit our Graham Allen webpage or contact Paul Rhymes tel: 01263 516367, email: paul.rhymes@north-norfolk.gov.uk

Holt Fit and Active Communiy Hub launched

The first 'Community Hub' has been launched in Holt.

14 May 2015
Holt Fit and Active Community Hub launched

The Holt 'Fit and Active Community Hub', the first of its kind in north Norfolk, will be self-sustainable and will be run by two volunteers, Pauline Pattinson and Kin Hendry.

The Hub will offer Tai Chi (9.45-10.30am) Seated Exercise (11-11.45am) and Nordic Walking (2-3.30pm) every Tuesday.  Each session will cost £3.50.

The launch of the Hub follows on from our 'Sports Hubs and Clubs' project which started in January to help more local people get in to sport with a variety of different activities specifically designed for the over 50s.

East Runton is due to launch its hub in June with Monday sessions of Pilates and Tuesday belly dancing - both from 10-11am.

For more information, please email davepaulinepattinson@gmail.com or call 07500 898278.

Rinse and Recycle!

Rinse and recycle is the new message of Norfolk’s successful Recycling Revolution.

27 March 2015
Rinse and Recycle

The ‘revolution’ has meant thousands of tonnes more waste is being brought to the county’s recycling plant since £8 million of improvements were made five months ago.

This has been a great success, with an increase of 40% more waste arriving for sorting but the challenge now is to boost how much of this increase can actually be recycled by reducing contamination.

The main two contamination issues at the Norfolk recycling plant are when loads are brought in with items covered in food or liquid residue or when recyclables arrive on conveyor belts contained in carrier bags.  In both cases it means those items unfortunately cannot be recycled.

The ‘revolution’ meant a wide range of new materials could be added to recycling bins. These included plastic food pots, tubs and trays, cartons, aluminium foil and trays, envelopes and shredded paper and many homes could also recycle glass bottle and jars for the first time. 

Taking just a couple of extra minutes to rinse out your recycling with water is really important.  If you collect recycling in a bag or use a bag to carry it outside to your recycling bin, please remember to empty the recycling out loosely and dispose of the carrier bag separately.

A new three-minute video produced at the recycling plant, which is run by Norse Environmental Waste Services (NEWS), shows how waste is sorted at the plant
and the importance of only putting the correct and cleaned recyclable items in the recycling bin.

To find out more about rinse and recycle visit www.recyclefornorfolk.org.uk or follow #rinseandrecycle on Twitter @NorthNorfolkDC

 

The Tour of Britain is coming to north Norfolk!

Fakenham Racecourse is set to host the start of the seventh stage of Britain’s biggest cycling event, the Tour of Britain, on Saturday 12 September.

19 March 2015
The Tour of Britain is coming to north Norfolk!

The Tour of Britain is returning to Norfolk for the first time since 2012 and the historic market town will be the start of the penultimate and longest stage of the Tour. World class cyclists will head through North Norfolk’s unique and beautiful countryside for the closing weekend of the Tour. The 2015 Tour will take place from Sunday 6 September to Saturday 12 September with stage seven of the race heading from Fakenham towardsThetford via Norwich and then on to finishing the stage in Ipswich.

Active Norfolk, Norfolk County Council and Adnams have worked together to bring the Tour of Britain back to the region. The return of the race to the county has also been made possible by the support of Breckland Council, Broadland District Council, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), Norwich City Council and South Norfolk Council.

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “Our unique and beautiful countryside will be a fantastic backdrop to this world-renowned spectacle. I am delighted that we have been able to secure Fakenham Racecourse as the starting point for the penultimate stage and I can’t wait to join the thousands of locals and visitors to the area that will line the route to witness such a great event".

It is likely that some 20 cycling teams will enter this year’s event, with six riders per team, and at least half of those riders having recently completed the world’s biggest cycling race, the Tour de France.

North Norfolk District Council will be organising many activities to entertain spectators wishing to catch a glimpse of their cycling idols. It will be a fantastic opportunity for locals and visitors to the district to get close to some of the household names that played such a significant part in Team GB’s hugely successful London 2012 Olympics.

Supporting Isla in her quest to become a professional cyclist

We are supporting local athlete Isla Rush's training by giving her free use of the gym and pool at Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham.

19 March 2015
Isla Rush given free pass for Splash Leisure Centre

16-year old Isla competes in Track, Road and Time Trials cycling. She already has an impressive portfolio of accolades under her belt and is currently ranked 10th in the country of her age group (Youth A girls). Isla’s accolades have included representing the Eastern Region twice at the UK School Games (Road inter-regionals 2013, Track inter-regionals 2014), as well as cycling for the Eastern Region at Road inter-regionals. She also holds titles of being the 2013 U14 Girls National Circuit, 25 Mile and Hill Climb Champion.

Together with Places for People, we are supporting Isla’s training by giving her free use of the gym and pool at Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre.  We are committed to showing strong support for athletes in the local community to help them reach their potential.

Good luck, Isla!

Cromer wins coveted Pier of the Year award for 2015!

Our beautiful, much-loved iconic Pier has been voted Pier Of The Year 2015 by the members of the National Piers Society.

17 March 2015
Award winning Cromer Pier

Cromer Pier is in its 114th year. It was designed by John James Webster (1845-1914). Initially a toll of 2d (1p) was levied, rising to 4d when concerts were given on the bandstand. In due course this was roofed over and converted into a roller skating rink. 

Astonishingly the Pavilion Theatre has survived ever since and is now home to the UK’s last surviving End Of The Pier show which runs twice daily for 13 weeks in the summer and 4 weeks at Christmas.  Only four other pier theatres survive in the UK.

Cromer Pier is picturesquely situated below the Victorian splendour of the Hotel de Paris, where Oscar Wilde stayed in 1892 and Stephen Fry worked as a waiter in the 1970s. Children (and adults!) love to fish for crabs from its decks. An RNLI lifeboat station at the pier head contains a museum and shop. The pier has been used in films such as Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, and will feature in a forthcoming BBC drama series Partners In Crime, starring David Walliams and Jessica (Call The Midwife) Raine.

The pier sustained severe damage during the winter storms of 2013, and yet despite the battering, it was up and running again within a week of the storm.  Almost £2m has been invested in the pier recently to repair and refurbish it, returning this signifcant part of not just Cromer, but north Norfolk, to its former glory.

Big Society Funds awarded to local community groups

Our Big Society Fund Grant Panel has awarded funding totalling £49,000 to eight community projects across North Norfolk.

17 March 2015
More money awarded from Council's Big Society Fund

The Big Society Fund was set up to help build strong communities in the district. The Fund aims to help communities to develop new and innovative projects which will improve their social and economic wellbeing.

Conditional BSF grant awards in this round include: Southrepps Parish Council (£5,372), Ingworth Parish Council (£7,500) and Sculthorpe Parish Council (£7,500) for projects to improve play provision.

Grants to improve facilities and help support the sustainability of village halls were given to Kettlestone (£6,000) and Ludham (£4,500).

A grant of £7,500 was awarded to Wells Town Tennis Club towards a replacement club house with toilets. The Panel heard that this would improve the facilities for all users of the tennis club as well as encourage the local community, in particular, children and people with learning disabilities interested in playing tennis. The club house will also be available as a meeting venue for the local community.

St Andrews Church Hall in Holt will receive a grant of £2,628 towards new chairs at the hall which will benefit people attending community events and activities.

A grant of £8,000 was awarded to Stalham Town Council towards an intergenerational community project which will include the creation of a heritage trail with interpretation boards sited at key locations in Stalham.

If you have an idea or a project that you wish to develop and apply for funding, you are encouraged to get in touch with Sonia Shuter tel. 01263 516173, email supporting.communities@north-norfolk.gov.uk) or visit our Big Society Fund webpage.

NNDC - 'strong and ambitious' council

We've recently undertaken a peer review for an independent, objective assessment of our performance, particularly focusing on economic growth and housing.

11 March 2015
NNDC - 'strong and ambitious' council

The review found that we are a strong and ambitious council which through innovation we are improving services to benefit local residents and businesses whilst stimulating growth. It was also recognised that we have a strong and visible political and managerial leadership with a clear strategic direction and alignment of resources.

Particular praise was given to:

  • Our exemplary response and leading role in the 2013 storms which demonstrated strong community leadership and resilience.
  • The successful push on empty homes which is providing additional housing for residents.
  • Our commitment to working well with Town and Parish Councils, for example, the close liaison in response to the Fakenham fire in May 2014, flood relief and the storms of 2013 where the Council “moved heaven and earth”.
  • Being an ambitious council with a positive attitude for change and strong record of achievement by working in new ways.
  • Our spirit of innovation as evidenced by the eastlaw legal service which has been described by partners as “excellent” in providing in-house and external services.
  • Introducing a ‘housing incentive delivery scheme’ that works with developers to promote development and where appropriate, relax affordable housing requirements which has stimulated the number of houses built in the district.
  • Positively intervening to retain local businesses and their expansion requirements. A good example of this was the council’s support to the expansion of Kinnertons in Fakenham. This created 90 new jobs and new investment of £25m into the local economy.

The purpose of the review was also to identify recommendations for improvement in the areas of economic growth and business transformation.

Suggestions for improvement included:

  • Ensuring broadband in the district remains competitively fast and attractive for future investment.
  • Consideration to develop a distinctive place and brand that markets the area.
  • Whilst it was recognised that the economy of North Norfolk is comparatively strong, there are still considerations to improve this even further with an economic growth strategy.

The full peer review and findings are available to download.

Cromer Coast Protection scheme extended

The second phase of our £8m 'Cromer Coast Protection' scheme has been extended and is expected to continue until early 2016.

02 March 2015
Cromer Coast Protection scheme extended

The scheme, designed not only to maintain the existing level of defence, but also to withstand many years of predicted sea level rise, has involved more work than was originally programmed due to the storm surge in December 2013.

To ensure minimal disruption to the Easter and summer holiday periods, work will stop as originally programmed on 31 March 2015. Following positive discussions with key stakeholders, including residents and local businesses to consider options for the continuation of the scheme, it has been agreed that the contractor (Volker Stevin) will start site set-up on Monday 7 September in preparation of site work starting on Monday 14 September.

Work, including repairs to the timber groynes, and re-facing the existing sea walls has been completed on the east end of Cromer’s frontage. The extension will include work at the west end, the parapet wall, underneath the Pier and promenade surfacing.

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 into 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.

For more information about the scheme and other coastal protection projects, see our coastal protection webpages.

Refurbishment of our iconic Pier nearing completion

A programme to refurbish Cromer Pier’s box office, gift shop and the restaurant following the significant damaged caused by December’s tidal surge is nearing completion.

24 February 2015
Cromer Pier refurbishment works nearing completion

Work has been completed since the surge to make significant structural repairs to the areas underneath the box office, gift shop and the restaurant and a full refurbishment programme of these facilities is almost complete. These areas felt the full force of the storm as waves hit the sea wall and were propelled up underneath the structure.

Our iconic Pier had already been the subject of extensive, £1.4million renovation and repair in the 18 months before the surge struck; work which potentially saved the structure from far greater damage.

We're looking forward to the completion of the refurbishment programme which we hope will coincide with the onset of warmer weather and increased visitor numbers.

Bodham man prosecuted for fly-tipping

Rodney Drake, 58, of Hart Lane, Bodham pleaded guilty to a number of waste offences following an appearance at Norwich Magistrates Court (18/2).

19 February 2015
Bodham man prosecuted for fly-tipping

Mr Drake was prosecuted by the Council following an investigation by its Environmental Protection Officers after reports were received from members of the public of a vast quantity of waste, fly-tipped in a field in Colby. The waste was discovered to have originated from the clearance of a property in North Walsham which was undertaken by Mr Drake’s company, ‘Call Rodney’.

Despite the householder paying Mr Drake to legally dispose of the waste, large quantities of plastics, furniture, textiles, white goods, electrical items, carpet, glass and crockery were later found dumped.

Mr Drake pleaded guilty to the following waste offences:
(1) transporting waste without being registered as a waste carrier [Contrary to S1 of the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989];
(2) knowingly cause controlled waste to be deposited [Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990];
(3) failing to comply with Duty of Care to prevent a fly tipping offense [Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990];
(4) failing to transfer the waste to an authorised person and secure the transfer of a written description of the waste [Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990];
(5) failing to produce a waste transfer notes when required to do so by the Council [Contrary to Regulation 35 Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 and Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990].

Mr Drake was sentenced to 180 hours of unpaid community work and ordered to pay £1000 costs and £60 victim surcharge.

The Council would like to thank the members of the public who reported this incident and provided witness statements. This community-spirited act helped the Council to take action. If you witness fly-tipping please report it by contacting Environmental Protection Team at North Norfolk District Council on 01263 516085 or by using our online report-it form.

Big Society Fund award helps Mundesley Table Tennis Club

Mundesley Table Tennis Club is the latest community group to benefit from our Big Society Fund (BSF).

27 January 2015
Mundseley Table Tennis Club enjoying new equipment

A grant of £3,000 has enabled the Table Tennis Club to purchase four modern table tennis tables and a range of other equipment. This will be used to enable existing members to develop their game as well as promote the sport of table tennis to people of all ages and abilities.

Cllr. Wyndham Northam, North Norfolk District Council’s local member for Mundesley, attended a meeting of the club in December and said: “I was impressed by the commitment and dedication of the club members; two of whom are qualified national umpires and coaches.

“I highly commend the Committee for its hard work, dedication and commitment and am delighted to that North Norfolk District Council has been able to help fund the new equipment. I hope that it will encourage many more local residents to take up table tennis.”

Equipment purchased by the grant will also help support the development of an after-school club at Mundesley Junior School which aims to encourage young people to take up table tennis which, as well as increasing physical activity, also improves hand-eye coordination and stimulates mental alertness, concentration and tactical strategy.

Mundesley Table Tennis Club meets every Thursday at 7pm at the Coronation Hall, Cromer Road, Mundesley and welcomes people of all ages and playing standards or those interested in taking up table tennis. Free coaching is provided. For more information contact Derek Sidaway (secretary) on 01263 722930.

Do you have a community project that could benefit from funding?  See our Big Society Fund webpage for more information. 

 

Swafield Village Hall refurbished with help from Big Society Fund

Swafield residents can now enjoy a much improved village hall thanks to a £3,000 grant from our Big Society Fund.

27 January 2015
Improvements made to Swafield Village Hall with support from Big Society Fund

Swafield Village Hall Committee applied for a grant from the Big Society Fund to undertake refurbishment works to the hall floor, wood work, guttering, drainage and grounds. The effects of damp in the floor in particular meant that the hall, which is a focal point for this small community, could no longer be used for certain activities.

Originally a Victorian School which opened in 1852, the building became the village hall in the 1930s.

Vice Chairman, Annie Claussen–Reynolds attended an event at the hall and commended the committee for their hard work, commitment and dedication to improving the village hall. She said: “I am delighted that, with the help from Big Society funding, Swafield Village Hall can continue to be used for activities that benefit the local community. Village halls are often the focal point for the community, and I hope the improved facilities will encourage many more local residents to make the most of it.”

Do you have a community project that would benefit from funding?  Check out our Big Society Fund webpage for more information.

North Norfolk based charity benefits from North Norfolk Big Society Fund

‘Food for Thought’, a newly formed North Norfolk based charity has recently been awarded a grant from our Big Society Fund.

26 January 2015
Food for Thought benefits from NNDC Big Society Fund award

The charity runs support groups and lunch clubs for people with dementia and their carers. It was set up when the organisation that had been running the groups had to withdraw their support.

Food for Thought was awarded £2000 from North Norfolk District Council’s Big Society Fund after the awarding panel commended the dedication and commitment of the Food for Thought volunteers who have worked hard to ensure that vital groups for people affected by dementia are still available.

Cabinet Member and Big Society Fund panel Chairman, John Lee said: “Dementia has a devastating effect on those affected by the illness and their carers. NNDC has recently pledged to become a dementia friendly Council and was pleased to be able to offer a Big Society Fund grant to ensure the continuation of these vital support groups.”

Food for Thought runs supports groups in Bodham, Cromer and North Walsham on a monthly basis. For more information contact Catherine Moorhouse on 01263 721344 or visit Food for Thought’s website www.foodforthoughtnorfolk.weebly.com

Has your community got a project that could benefit from funding?  See our Big Society Fund webpage for more information.