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Is your community prepared for future emergencies?

We're appealing to communities to ‘help themselves’ to be better prepared in the event of an emergency.

16 July 2014

We are encouraging people to consider forming local emergency teams to provide leadership and support for their local community in any future emergencies.

Any member of the community can volunteer to act as a Community Emergency Coordinator. The role involves putting together a simple resilience plan by gathering information which may be useful to a community in the event of an emergency. The plan might include a map, lists of vulnerable people, a coordination or meeting point, a note of those with specialist skills or equipment (e.g. doctor, builder, owners of 4x4 vehicles) and any notable risks within the community.

We will provide a free emergency pack to communities that create their own their community resilience plan. The pack incudes wind-up radio, torches, high visibility vests and other useful items. An enhanced pack is offered to communities when they have undertaken an exercise with the full support of the Council’s Civil Contingencies team.

We will be happy to arrange meetings and workshops where residents interested in community resilience can network with other teams and gain help to create their own plans. Funding for those interested in setting up a community resilience group may be available through our Big Society Fund.

For more information and for advice, support and guidance on how you can make your community more resilient and better prepared to handle emergency situations, please contact our Civil Contingencies team on 01263 516172 or visit our community resilience webpage.

Best of Big Society Fund award-winners revealed

Individuals, businesses and projects that have made an outstanding contribution within their community were congratulated at a special awards ceremony held at The Atrium in North Walsham.

07 July 2014
Big  Society Fund awards - credit: Mark Whitmore

Hosted by Trevor Ivory, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) Chairman, a specially invited audience joined finalists and guests to see awards presented in four categories:
• Outstanding contribution to the community by a local business
• Outstanding contribution to a Big Society Funded project
• Outstanding contribution by a young person to a Big Society Funded project
• Community project of the year

The awards were set up to recognise exceptional projects and exceptional people in conjunction with its Big Society Fund. Since the council set up the Big Society Fund in 2012 nearly £900,000 has been awarded to over 90 different projects. All of this is supporting local projects such as these, initiated by local people and meeting local community needs.

The finalists and winners in each of the categories are

Community Project of the Year
North Norfolk Community Transport - FINALIST
The Voyager Project - FINALIST
The Erpingham and Calthorpe MUGA (multi-use games area) - WINNER

Outstanding Contribution to the Community by a Local Business
The Cockerel, North Walsham - WINNER
Trunch Corner Store and Post Office - FINALIST
The Lighthouse Inn, Walcott - FINALIST

Outstanding Contribution to a Big Society Funded Project
Pam and David Connell-Hart (Cromer and District Foodbank) - FINALIST
Bob Cumber and Sylvia Levete (Sheringham and Cromer Choral Society) - FINALIST
Doreen Wright (Poppy Centre Trust Charity Shop) - FINALIST
Dawn Hulbert (Edgefield Village Hall) _ WINNER
Jim Whiteside (Norfolk and Suffolk 4x4 Rescue) - FINALIST

Outstanding Contribution by a Young Person to a Big Society Funded Project
Jacob Thornberry (Aldborough Community Centre) - FINALIST
Adam Lingwood, Rory Singleton, Craig Prior (sadly deceased February 2014) (Fakenham Rugby Club) - WINNER
George Warner (West Runton Scout Group) - WINNER
Robert Murphy (The Atrium) - FINALIST

The evening came to close with a special award, presented by EDP Editor, Nigel Pickover, for 'an outstanding contribution to the community following the tidal surge in December 2013.

Lisa Grice, NNDC’s Housing Team Leader (customer services), Damien Woods (not present) and Richard Cook, NNDC’s Civil Contingencies team, were recognised for being ‘instrumental in ensuring that the Council’s response to the communities following the surge was both effective and compassionate’

Steve Bullimore, Landlord of the Lighthouse Inn, Walcott and his staff were awarded in acknowledgement of their commitment to help others following the surge. Steve and his staff “offered comfort and a safe and friendly environment for those who were evacuated during what was an extremely worrying time for residents as they waited to hear whether they could return to their homes.”

Leading by example on apprenticeship scheme

Two apprentices in our Council Tax section have been rewarded for their efforts by being granted full time posts within the team.

07 July 2014

Brianne Neale and Kristian Cubitt both started an apprenticeship with NNDC in July 2013. The government-supported scheme aimed to provide them with an NVQ level 2 and Technical Certificate in Business Administration from Easton and Otley College as well as providing mentoring and experience in the work-place. Both are now reaching the end of their training and qualification and in recognition of how successful they have been, both have been offered full-time positions within the council-based team; Kristian as a permanent Revenue Officer, while Brianne has accepted a fixed term contract to March 2015.

Brianne, 18, from Sheringham, decided ‘A’ levels were not for her as she was looking for a qualification that was much more closely related to the work-place.

“I’ve friends who have got degrees and are now struggling to find a job,” she said. “What really attracted me to this apprenticeship was that it provided practical experience alongside a qualification. I have really enjoyed it; the people here are great and I’m delighted I can stay on once the apprenticeship is over.”

Kristian, 23, from Cromer, left school without any real idea of what he was going to do and worked as a labourer and in local cafes and restaurants.

“After a few years I realised that I wasn’t going anywhere as far as work was concerned, and I wanted to do something about that.  This apprenticeship offered me both an opportunity to develop my skills and a real chance to build a proper career."

Cllr. Russell Wright, NNDC Cabinet Member for Business Enterprise and Economic Development, said, “The council promoted the benefits of apprenticeships to the local business community at a very successful event at Davenport’s Magic Kingdom recently. The apprenticeship scheme is not only excellent for the young people involved, but also in terms of building their long-term commitment to working locally, and in building the skills capabilities of the wider north Norfolk community as a whole. I can only wish them the very best of luck for the future.”

We've received over £200,000 to give local sport a boost!

Our ‘Sports Clubs and Hubs’ project is set to help more local people get into sport thanks to £211,512 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund.

30 June 2014

There were well over 200 applications nationally, and we are among 88 projects to receive a share of £15 million of funding to support grassroots sport activity across the country.

Funding for the three-year long ‘Sports Clubs and Hubs’ project will enable us to deliver a range of sporting and exercise activities, designed to encourage those, particularly the older and younger age groups, who currently have difficulty gaining regular access to sports facilities. The project aims to build on the work that we have already delivered through our highly successful mobile gym service. Emphasis will be placed on making these activities self-supporting in the longer term, something that has already been achieved with a number of ‘community gyms’ in the district.

Detailed planning for the Sports Clubs and Hubs project will start immediately now that the grant has been confirmed, and implementation will commence in the autumn.

Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre announced as coveted award finalist

Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre has been shortlisted as a finalist in this year’s ukactive and Matrix Flame Awards, the most highly coveted accolade of the health and fitness sector.

27 June 2014
Fakenham Sports Centre

The Facility Awards recognise leisure centres, health clubs and group operators that have demonstrated exceptional standards across their operation.

Speaking after the announcement ukactive CEO David Stalker said, “We would like to congratulate each and every finalist who has reached this shortlist stage. The assessment process is known for being the toughest in the business and the level of competition just gets better every year. We look forward to celebrating with all the finalists at this year’s Ball of Fire on 2nd July”.

Fakenham Sports and Fitness Centre is owned by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) and managed by Places for People Leisure (formerly DCLeisure). The centre offers a fantastic range of activities, with a spacious 42 station gym, an aerobics studio, a wide range of classes, and sports such as badminton, football and gymnastics.

eastlaw triumphs at prestigious national award ceremony

Our legal team, eastlaw, has been named the best Legal Services team in the UK at a prestigious annual local government awards organised by The MJ.

20 June 2014
eastlaw scoop national award

eastlaw saw off competition from five larger local authority legal teams at the ceremony which took place in London before almost 1,000 people last night.

The eleventh annual awards were presented by comedian Hugh Dennis, the star of popular BBC sit-com ‘Outnumbered’.

The award recognises and rewards a council legal department which ‘demonstrates exceptional value for money’ for the council ‘through their contribution and innovation’.

The concept of eastlaw was developed by NNDC’s legal team itself, to deliver services both in-house and on behalf of external clients. Aiming to combine the best aspects of public sector practice with the efficiency and dynamism of the private sector, eastlaw has been particularly successful in acting as the legal arm of NNDC’s drive to bring empty homes back into use, in setting up the coastshare group to help charities and other not-for-profit organisations, and in greatly exceeding the income target for its first year of operation.

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, NNDC Leader, said “I am delighted to see eastlaw be crowned the best Legal Services team in the UK. The team work tirelessly to deliver value for money services with professionalism and innovation and thoroughly deserve the award.

“eastlaw shows how the law can be used imaginatively for the benefit of the Council and local community. They provide a first class legal service of which I am immensely proud”

We've scooped a Building Excellence award!

We scooped an award at the 2014 East Anglia Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence awards held at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich on 13 June.

18 June 2014

The LABC Building Excellence Awards recognise the importance of Building Control in England and Wales in creating safe, accessible and sustainable buildings that are constructed to high standards. The awards, for which there are 12 categories, are a celebration of the best projects in the region (including Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk) for quality and compliance with building regulations.

The win this year was in the category of ‘Best customer LABC Partnership with a Local Authority Building Control Team’ – a prestigious category of award as it truly recognises the work of the council with its customers to deliver successful projects – a real team effort between a private company and the public sector. In this case, NNDC’s partner architect was SMG Chartered Architects from Sheringham. The award was accepted by Paul Ericksen of SMG with Daniel Theobald of NNDC’s Building Control department.

NNDC Building Control team and SMG have been involved in successfully delivering housing developments in Dereham, Bradwell, Poringland and Sprowston in Norwich, as well as the site now in progress in Roughton Road, Cromer. Other projects where NNDC and SMG have collaborated include the Sheringham Lighthouse church project on Cromer Road, and works to Paston College in North Walsham, together with many smaller scale domestic new-build projects, extensions and alterations.

The award will be entered in the forthcoming national Building Excellence awards that will be held in London in the autumn.


We're awarding more funds to local community groups

Eleven exciting local community projects are on course to benefit from our Big Society Fund following the decisions of the Grant Panel at its meeting on 9 June.

18 June 2014
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 grant awards in this round include funding towards: the provision of play equipment in Thorpe Market (£3,340), Corpusty and Saxthorpe (£5000) and Trunch (£4000); improved equipment to particularly benefit the community cinemas in Holt Community Centre (£5000) and at Northrepps Film Club (£3268); the provision of disabled access to Sheringham Sports Association’s clubhouse (£10,000); and to assist in the relocation of Happisburgh Coast Watch Station to a more accessible and appropriate site (£8768).

Swanton Novers Village Hall and Amenities Committee was awarded £8000 to assist towards the building of an extension to provide improved storage facilities; Wells Emergency Wardens were awarded £4671 to provide improved radio communications and other emergency equipment – an issue that was highlighted during the course of last December’s storm surge - while Great Snoring Social Club (£7500) and the R B L Townshend Club in Fakenham (£2000) were awarded funds to improve their facilities and thereby increase community use.

We will provide help and advice to applicants at all stages in the application process to help them develop excellent projects that will achieve their desired outcome and become financially sustainable in the long-term.

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 us (via Sonia Shuter tel. 01263 516173, email or visit our Big Society Fund page.

Let's Fight for Fakenham!

An appeal fund has been set up to help those who were affectly by the fire that ripped through the Upper Market area of Fakenham last month.

12 June 2014
Fakenham Fire 2014

Let's Fight for Fakenham!

An appeal fund has been set up to help those who were affectly by the fire that ripped through the Upper Market area of Fakenham last month.

Grants are available for businesses, voluntary and community groups:

Who can apply?

  • Businesses that were directly affected by the fire
  • Community/ voluntary organisations or social enterprises directly affected by the fire
  • Appropriate organisations which are providing immediate relief to people who have been affected by the fire
  • Appropriate organisations that will be providing longer term support services

Download a businesses application form.

And for individuals and families:

Who can apply?

  • Individuals or families whose sole and main residence has been destroyed, damaged due to the fire
  • Employees who have lost work or income because of the fire

Download a residents application form.

Details of where to send your application form are available on each form.

If you want to donate to the 'Let's Fight for Fakenham' campaign, please make your cheque payable to the Norfolk Community Foundation and send it to The Norfolk Community Foundation, St James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1SH.

North Norfolk has some of the best beaches in the England - it’s official!

We are delighted to annouce that North Norfolk has five awarded winning beaches!

20 May 2014
Mundesley beach

From Whitley Bay to Clacton, Margate to Torbay, England can now boast some of the best and cleanest beaches in the world. And North Norfolk has five of them, with prestigious Blue Flags for Sheringham, Cromer, Mundesley and Sea Palling beaches, and a Seaside Award for East Runton beach.

Keep Britain Tidy has announced the winners of the 2014 Blue Flag and Seaside Awards. In total 168 beaches received an award with 56 beaches gaining the Blue Flag and 112 picking up the Seaside Award. 23 of the beaches have received both awards.

Cllr Glyn Williams, North Norfolk District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Cultural Services, said, “We are delighted that with four Blue Flag resort beaches and one Seaside Award, North Norfolk offers one of the very best stretches of sandy coast in the country. This confirms the district as a wonderfully clean, tidy and safe place to live and to visit, with some of the best seaside resorts anywhere.”

Visitors to our beaches are not only assured of a great day out but can have confidence that their visit will be both safe and enjoyable with all beaches having to maintain high standards of management, cleanliness and safety.

For many people going to the beach also means a dip in the sea. The water quality at all award winning beaches meets the required European Union standards, with the water quality at Blue Flag beaches subject to even tougher tests, meeting the very highest international standards.

Health and Fitness roadshows launched in Primary Schools

We have been delivering an exciting programme of Health and Fitness Roadshows to primary schools across north Norfolk.

19 May 2014
Karle Parnell helps Northrepps school children learn how to be fit and healthy

The programme aims to ensure that every child becomes more active more often and ultimately achieves life-long participation in activity. Sessions are already taking place in 14 schools across the district, where NNDC staff have been delivering hour long practical and theory sessions to help children improve their fitness, and encouraging them to share their learning with parents and carers.

Children who take part are given workbooks to complete during the five week programme. They also receive activity cards and are encouraged to complete 20 or more activities during the programme. Children who complete 20 or more activities within five weeks are rewarded with a free swim pass for use at Victory Swim and Fitness Centre in North Walsham or Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham.

Northrepps Primary School is one of the schools where the programme has been delivered.  Deputy Leader, Rhodri Oliver joined the children for a session recently.  Headteacher, Mrs Angie Hamilton, said, “The children have enjoyed the activity. They started with a bleep test and were amazed at one of the boys who reached 11! They are all focussed on improving their fitness and getting healthier. Having a goal to beat is spurring them on even more. The hands-on elements of the practical sessions have been wonderful. And especially memorable has been examining the fat content in food.”

Any school wishing to get involved and to understand more about the programme works should contact Wyn Nurse by email or call 07795265671.

Record year for affordable home completions

Working with five housing associations, we provided 153 new affordable homes across the district during 2013/2014.

13 May 2014
Affordable homes in Fulmodeston

This is the highest ever number of affordable dwellings delivered in the district in a single year and the first time that the number of new affordable homes completed by housing associations has exceeded 150 homes.

The completion of 153 affordable homes places North Norfolk at the top of the table for affordable home completions in Norfolk for 2013/14:

North Norfolk District Council - 153
South Norfolk Council - 152
Norwich City Council - 117
Breckland Council - 87
Broadland District Council - 80
Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk - 46
Great Yarmouth Borough Council - 13

Rhodri Oliver, NNDC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing, said: "I am really pleased that we have managed to achieve this exceptional level of affordable housing completions this year. It reflects well on the hard work of all the officers and partners who work together to bring forward affordable housing development across North Norfolk."

New affordable homes have been provided across North Norfolk including the towns of Fakenham, North Walsham, Sheringham and Hoveton as well as the villages of Honing, Hempton, Northrepps, Potter Heigham and Fulmodeston.

Success for North Norfolk's new entrepreneurs

A special event is being held at The White Horse in Overstrand on Wednesday 14 May to celebrate recent graduates of the Enterprise North Norfolk entrepreneur training programme.

12 May 2014

Tom FitzPatrick will make a presentation to members of the Enterprise North Norfolk entrepreneur training programme, marking their success in setting up new businesses, ranging from a cafe/bistro and a fitness club to teeth whitening and pest control.

The successful new businessmen and women will be presented with a copy of ‘The Essential Business Guide’, essential reading for all entrepreneurs and full of vital information for further success in their chosen fields of business.

Enterprise North Norfolk is jointly funded by North Norfolk District Council and Norfolk County Council. It provides support and assistance for budding entrepreneurs to start, grow and succeed in business. Along with specific business planning, marketing and financial expertise, the programme helps prospective businessmen and women develop skills that will help them to build the all-important self-confidence and self-belief so necessary to business success. The programme is run by Engage with Business Ltd.

Copeman Centre celebrates opening of new extension

The Copeman Centre in Briston is celebrating the opening of a brand new extension following a grant from NNDC's Big Society Fund.

07 May 2014
Copeman Centre in Briston

The extension provides additional staff, office and meeting rooms as well as new toilets, enabling separate access to toilet facilities for each individual hall and the children’s nursery, and will increase the use of the centre for social and community activities.

The project was awarded £22,000 from the North Norfolk Big Society Fund and also received funding from Norfolk County Council’s Construction Fund (£100,000), the Copeman Centre’s own funds (£8,000) and Briston Parish Council (£3,000).

A 'drop-in' was held and attended by Council Leader, Tom FitzPatrick, to offer local residents the chance to see the new facilities.

Fakenham Rugby Club to benefit from Big Society Fund

People in Fakenham and nearby communities will be able to make greater use of facilities provided at Fakenham Rugby Club thanks to a grant from the North Norfolk Big Society Fund.

07 May 2014
Fakenham Rugby Club

NNDC Leader Tom Fitzpatrick and Fakenham District Councillors Roy Reynolds and Annie Claussen–Reynolds were special guests at a club dinner in April held in memory of Chris Woods, a former stalwart of the club, during which the club’s new kitchen was opened.

The kitchen improvements were funded by a £12,500 grant from NNDC’s North Norfolk Big Society Fund.

The catering improvements are part of a three phase project whereby Fakenham Rugby Club is seeking to raise its focus as a community venue, with the particular aim of encouraging greater involvement from children, women and male youths. The new kitchen will allow hirers excellent facilities for entertaining, with catering assistance being available from the Club if required. The two other phases of improvements include providing an additional pitch, reconfiguring the changing rooms and providing two new shower rooms.

Any local group or individual wishing to hire the new facilities at Fakenham Rugby Club should contact Andy Prior, Clubhouse Manager, on 07500 585557