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Latest News

Councils join up to open community gym

Opened by Richard Bacon MP, Loddon Community Gym has been handed over to a new volunteer-led committee that will take over the running of the facility.

10 April 2014
Loddon Community Gym

The Committee secured £20,000 of South Norfolk Council funding to purchase gym equipment including treadmills, weights, cross trainers, bikes and rowing machines.

North Norfolk District Council operated its mobile gym facility in Loddon, on behalf of South Norfolk Council and Active Norfolk for six months before the local community took the gym on to offer a permanent opportunity for residents to keep active and get fit.

The number of sessions held in the gym will increase from one a week to three including one in the evening. The sessions are run by two fully qualified instructors and are for people who are sixteen and over.

A session in the gym costs just £3, there is no joining fee and multi session tickets are available at discounted prices.

Eastern Rivers Community Gym, held in Jubilee Hall, George Lane, Loddon is open on Monday, Tuesday and Friday and times can be found at

Orchestras Live North Norfolk 2014

North Norfolk is again this year privileged to host Orchestras Live North Norfolk, a series of the highest quality orchestral concerts developed by North Norfolk District Council in partnership with Orchestras Live and community organisations

08 April 2014
Orchestras Live

The concerts, which include a world premiere and a former BBC Musician of the Year, will be taking place in Ludham and Holt in July and Sheringham in October.

The series begins in the beautiful Broads village of Ludham by welcoming the internationally acclaimed European Union Chamber Orchestra, performing a vivacious programme from Vivaldi’s concertino-style ensemble to the Hungarian tones and semi-tones of Bartok’s Rumanian Dances.

Following superb performances both in 2011 and 2012, Orchestras Live North Norfolk is delighted to once again be working in partnership with Orchestra of the Swan, this time for the Holt Festival, at Gresham’s School’s Theatre in the Woods. With guest soloist Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins performing their critically acclaimed rendition of Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto for violin and piano, audiences are sure to be left enchanted.

The series concludes in St Peter’s Church, Sheringham, with the exceptionally talented English Chamber Orchestra. Inspired by WW1 commemorations, the programme includes Geoffrey Burgon’s spiritually enthused choral music and a finale of the world premiere of ‘Eventide’ (In Memoriam Edith Cavell) by composer Patrick Hawes, with the transcendent voices of both Sheringham & Cromer Choral Society and Gresham’s Prep School Children’s Choir.

Details of the full programme and ticket information and prices can be found at

Environment Agency confirms over £3/4m funding for storm-hit council

The Environment Agency has confirmed a grant of £765,000 to North Norfolk District Council towards the costs incurred by the council during the course of the recovery from the tidal surge and storm that hit our coastline last December.

02 April 2014
EA awards North Norfolk District Council £3/4m

The immediate emergency response and subsequent repairs and recovery effort will cost the Council over £3m. The initial costs were borne from our financial reserves, which as a result are now nearly exhausted, and around half of the £3m is recoverable through insurance and government schemes, including the ‘Bellwin’ scheme. However, the remaining circa £1.5m is not.

To help bridge that gap we applied to the EA for emergency coast protection funding. News has now reached the council that the EA has approved a grant of £765,000 for 2013/14, and NNDC has also applied for £276,000 for 2014/15. The grant is to cover the following work at various locations along the council’s coastline including at: Sheringham, the Runtons, Overstrand, Trimingham, Mundesley, Bacton, Walcott and Ostend.

You can find more details about how the tidal surge and flooding affected our coastline and the work that has been undertaken to recover and repair the damage at our coastal news webpage.

More funding awarded to local community groups

Thirteen more local community groups are on course to benefit from our Big Society Fund following the decisions of the Grant Panel at its meeting on 18 March.

02 April 2014
Thirteen local community groups awarded Big Society Funding

The Big Society Fund was set up by North Norfolk District Council 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.

Grant recipients in this round include Swafield (£3000) and Suffield (£2000) village halls, for improvements to the halls and their surroundings; Swanton Abbott (£6000), and Field Dalling and Saxlingham (£3880) Parish Councils for improved play equipment; Holt Rugby Club for a new toilet building with disabled and nappy-changing facilities (£12,500) - these form part of a larger project to help sustain the club and widen its community offer - and Waxham and East Ruston Local Community Smallholding (£10,000) for equipment and facilities to help develop and expand a community smallholding project.

The Coastal Rowing Association, based at Blakeney, was awarded £6,637 towards the building of a second St. Ayles skiff, trailers and safety equipment to enable more people and community groups to benefit from the project; the Higginbottom Recreational Trust in Briston was granted £3,731 to improve kitchen equipment facilities at Briston Pavilion and £2000 was granted to Food for Thought, to support this new volunteer-led organisation to run three lunch and activity groups for people with dementia and their carers in North Norfolk.

 Other grant recipients were:

• Holt Youth Project - £10,500 to replace computers, purchase and install interactive white board and projector to support youth and adult educational programmes.
• Heritage House Caring Group, Wells - £7,500 towards the cost of a conservatory extension
• St Nicholas Parish Church, Wells - £5000 towards a new floor which will result in increased community and activity space.
• Stalham Firehouse Museum - £1500 for educational books and leaflets.

To date the fund has distributed over £800,000 to 80 projects across the district.

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 or visit our Big Society Fund webpage for more information.

Council gallery hosts new exhibition

Our public art gallery is presenting an illuminating and entertaining collection of watercolour originals entitled ‘Flora and Fun’ by Cromer artist June Skinner.

02 April 2014
Juen Skinner exhibiting at NNDC's art gallery

Now a resident in Cromer, June’s former home was in Cornwall, where she attended two art colleges and gaining a Higher National Certificate in Illustration and Design. As a mature student June did not pursue further academic training because of costs and the inaccessibility of education centres specialising in art. However, her time is now spent passionately producing vibrant and fun-loving works.

June has developed her own style using watercolour, acrylic and oil, although she believes watercolour is the best medium for flower paintings.

The exhibition offers original framed watercolours at affordable prices from £30 to £70.

We seek to offer opportunities to local artists to display their work in our well-lit first-floor ‘gallery’ area in our Holt Road offices in Cromer, and in turn provide staff and visitors to the building the opportunity to see a variety of different artists’ work. Currently six exhibitions are held annually; open for view to the public during normal office hours, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8.30am – 5pm; Wednesday 10am – 5pm; Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm.

For information on Arts in North Norfolk visit our arts webpage. You can also follow us on Twitter@NorthNorfolkDC and find us on Facebook at /northnorfolkdc 

Affected by December’s tidal surge? You could be entitled to funding up to £5,000

We are urging households and businesses in the district directly affected by flooding in last December’s tidal surge and storm to apply for grants of up to £5,000 from central government’s Flood Support Schemes. You can apply now!

01 April 2014
Homes flooded in Walcott

The schemes are intended to assist those individual households and businesses that suffered flooding in December to increase their capability to withstand any future flooding.

The Business Support Scheme has been designed to support all small and medium businesses that suffered a significant loss of trade as a result of December’s floods. This grant of up to £2,500 per business is being offered to help you cover immediate clean-up costs and materials and loss of trade as a result of flooding as well as helping you to develop and implement business recovery plans.

More details including application forms and guidance notes can be found at our Flood Support Grant Scheme webpage. The deadline for all scheme applications is 30 May 2014.

We will be applying a council tax discount and business rates relief for up to three months for affected households and businesses. All those known to have been affected will be notified directly when their council tax/business rates information is sent out within the next 14 days.

We will also be holding advice surgeries for local householders and businesses seeking further information and assistance regarding the schemes, as follows:

• Wells - Tuesday 15 April – The Maltings
• Walcott - Wednesday 16 April – Walcott Village Hall
• Blakeney - Wednesday 23 April – Blakeney Village Hall
• Bacton - Thursday 24 April – Bacton Village Hall

All events will run 2 – 6pm and appointments can be pre-booked by calling 01263 516044 or email

Brandon Lewis to visit north Norfolk to discuss flood recovery process

Brandon Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government and minister with responsibility for local government, will be visiting North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) on Friday 28 March.

27 March 2014
Flood damage

Leaders and officers of the local councils affected by the tidal surge and storm that inflicted damage right along the Norfolk coast will join NNDC Leader, Tom FitzPatrick to talk with the minister not only about the recovery process, but about the significant financial repercussions of councils having to repair the damage.

In addition the councils will be discussing their work in building increased resilience within coastal communities for the future. They will discuss the government’s recently announced flood support schemes for domestic households and businesses, and how these can be best distributed to those who suffered damage as a result of the tidal surge and storm, to maximise uptake.

Importantly, the councils will also be telling the Minister that the government should adopt a more integrated approach to the protection and management of coastal communities at risk of coastal flooding and erosion. They will say that the current process, which considers only the number of properties affected, puts small rural communities at a continuing disadvantage and greater risk, and that the government must also consider the social and economic impacts of coastal erosion in its calculations.

We're taking action to revitalise markets

North Norfolk District Council is reducing costs to traders to try to ensure that its traditional markets continue to play an important part in the economies of market towns.

26 March 2014

We (NNDC) manage the weekly markets in Sheringham, Stalham and Cromer, all of which in recent years have seen a decline in the number of traders. In an attempt to help and encourage regular traders and to revitalise the markets we’ve decided to implement a number of changes:

• regular traders’ rents reduced by an average of 10%
• reduced rent for charity stalls - £5 per pitch, with charities being able to book up to 12 places each year
• reduced rates for new starters for 8 consecutive weeks
• rentable gazebos for new starters and charity stalls
• increased advertising for all three markets to boost visitor numbers

Stalham market has been particularly hit by a decline in the number of regular traders, particularly over the winter period. It is hoped these incentives will help boost the number of traders wishing to attend.

New affordable home for Wells

Work by ‘Homes for Wells’ to convert the former Field Study Centre in Polka Road, Wells-next-the-Sea, into ten new affordable homes for local people began on Wednesday 19 March 2014

25 March 2014
Homes for Wells

Planning permission was granted by NNDC in October 2013 and in December 2013 the scheme was awarded a £150,000 grant from NNDC’s Big Society Enabling Fund following a unanimous vote at the council’s Cabinet meeting.

At the time NNDC Leader Tom FitzPatrick said, “Homes for Wells is a fabulous organisation which is determined to solve local problems.”

Chairman for Homes for Wells, Anne Phillips said, "We are enormously grateful for this grant. It is wonderful to have recognition from the council for the work we are doing to support people in need of affordable housing in Wells."

Antingham Village Hall windows project completed with help from Big Society Fund

Villagers in Antingham are celebrating the completion of some major improvements to their village hall thanks to a grant from our Big Society Fund.

25 March 2014
Antingham Village Hall

The project, which cost £2280 in total, was made possible through an NNDC Big Society Fund grant of £2,000 with the remaining funds coming from Village Hall fundraising activities.

Council Leader Tom FitzPatrick said, “I can see that our grant of £2,000 has been very well spent, improving these facilities to be enjoyed by a whole range of groups and individuals. Village halls contribute a great deal to the wellbeing of our local communities and we are delighted to have been able to play a part in supporting the future vitality of this vibrant village.”

Antingham Village Hall Committee Chairman, John Lake, said, “The village hall is the only venue available for hire and use by the community in Antingham. It is valued and well used by local residents for private functions and parties and also by voluntary and community groups who offer local accessible social and recreational activities. The new windows have already been greatly admired!”

Do you have a community project that could benefit from funding?  Visit our Big Society Fund page for more details.

High Sheriff goes ‘on the bins’!

The Countess of Leicester, High Sheriff of Norfolk, joined the crew of a North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) refuse collection lorry on Tuesday 18 March, to experience just what it is like to work ‘on the bins’

17 March 2014
The Countess of Leicester 'on the bins'

The High Sheriff was welcomed to the depot in Aylsham, operated by waste contractors Kier on behalf of NNDC, by District Council Leader, Tom FitzPatrick. She met Kier staff and crew members and received a safety briefing before donning her personal protective equipment and heading out with one of Kier’s refuse collection crews on their round.

NNDC Leader Tom FitzPatrick said, “We are delighted that the High Sheriff is joining us in North Norfolk. This district is officially one of the cleanest in the country, which is very important in such a popular tourist area and something we and everyone who lives here are very proud of, and the Countess of Leicester enjoyed traveling with one of the refuse collection crews who help us to keep it this way.”


New Multi-use Games Area to open at Sheringham Sports Ground

A new all-weather Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) will be opened by Sheringham Mayor, Doug Smith, at Sheringham Recreation Ground on Saturday 15 March at 10.30am.

12 March 2014
Big Society funded MUGA to open in Sheringham

The event will also be attended by Rhodri Oliver, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) Deputy Leader.

The flood-lit MUGA, which has been built on the site of three former underused and deteriorating concrete tennis courts, can be used for a wide range of sporting activities, including tennis, football, basketball, netball and hockey by all age groups all year round. The project has been directed by Sheringham Sports Association, who manage the Recreation Ground, which itself is leased from NNDC.

NNDC Deputy Leader Rhodri Oliver, one of NNDC’s two representatives on the Sports Association and Member for Sheringham South, said, “So many volunteers have put in a huge amount of time and hard work into turning the original vision into reality and it is great that it has paid off. I would like to thank all the people who made this possible.”

The £113,000 project, which includes alterations to the pavilion to improve disabled access, has been assisted by a £15,000 grant from the NNDC Big Society Fund. A further £60,000 was secured by the District Council from Tesco in lieu of a like-for-like playing pitch which formed part of the original Tesco planning permission for the new Sheringham Community Centre.

Sport England then stepped in with match funding to complete the fundraising project and allow the building of the excellent facility for the town, followed by Scira Offshore Energy who funded the revamp of the existing floodlights to bring them right up to date.

Do you have a community project that could benefit from funding?  Visit our Big Society Fund page for more details.

Council announces new Cabinet member

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) Leader Tom FitzPatrick announced that Councillor Glyn Williams would be joining NNDC’s Cabinet.

06 March 2014
Councillors Glyn Williams and Trevor Ivory

This followed the announcement at the Full Council meeting on 26 February 2014 that Councillor Trevor Ivory had decided to stand down from the Cabinet.

Mr Williams, who lives in Long Common, Swanton Abbott, was first elected to the council in May 2011. His ward includes Felmingham, Skeyton, Suffield, Swanton Abbott, Westwick and Worstead.

He came to local prominence in 2008 as chairman of Cetag - Coltishall Eco-Town Action Group - a campaigning body of 14 parish councils surrounding the former RAF Coltishall base which were opposed to a proposal to turn it into an eco town.

Mr Williams will join the seven existing members of the ruling Conservative Cabinet, Tom FitzPatrick (Leader), Rhodri Oliver (Deputy Leader), Angie Fitch-Tillett, Russell Wright, John Lee, Benjie Cabbell Manners and Wyndham Northam. His portfolio will include Leisure and Cultural Services and Customer Services.

Cllr. FitzPatrick said: “Cllr. Trevor Ivory has made a huge contribution to both North Norfolk District Council and the Conservative Group since we took over the administration of the Council nearly three years ago. Trevor has made a real impact in areas such as Housing and Legal Services and his vision in establishing the Big Society Fund has greatly benefited communities and organisations across the whole of North Norfolk.

“I am extremely grateful for the unfailing support he has given me personally during my time as Leader, particularly during the early days. The group is sorry to see him leave Cabinet and he leaves with both our regrets and good wishes for the future. I am pleased that we will continue to have the benefit of his knowledge and enthusiasm.

“I am delighted to welcome Cllr. Williams to the Cabinet. Glyn has had a long career working as an officer in local government. He has brought a wealth of experience to the group and I am pleased that we will be able to make full use of this expertise in his portfolio responsibilities. I am looking forward to working even more closely with him in the coming months.”

Full details of Cabinet members’ portfolios can be found at our Cabinet webpage.

Council tax frozen for third year running

Council tax has been frozen for residents of north Norfolk for the third year running, it was announced at Full Council on Wednesday 26 February.

04 March 2014

The decision means that from April, residents in an average band D property will continue to pay £138.87 for the district council element of the precepts.

North Norfolk District Council announced it will not increase council tax following a government tax-freeze grant of £58,000 — extended for a further two years.

Former Cabinet member, Trevor Ivory, whose departure from Cabinet was later annouced by the Leader, said: “I've been extremely proud to be part of a Cabinet that has delivered a freeze on council tax for the residents of North Norfolk for three years running’.

Deputy Leader wins ‘Young Councillor of the Year’ award

North Norfolk District Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Corporate Assets, Democratic Services and Electoral Services, Rhodri Oliver, was named ‘Young Councillor of the Year’ at the annual Councillor Achievement Awards ceremony, held at Westminster City Hall in London on Tuesday 25 February.

27 February 2014
Rhodri Oliver receives award from Eric Pickles

Judges at the annual achievement awards, organised by the LGiU and CCLA (Local Government Information Unit), awarded Councillor Oliver for ‘setting a fantastic example for young people in politics’. They went on to comment on how they were ‘impressed that Councillor Oliver has achieved a leadership position at a very young age’.

North Norfolk District Council Leader, Tom FitzPatrick, said: “I was delighted to be at Westminster City Hall to see Councillor Oliver receive his award as ‘Young Councillor of the Year’. He is a great example of how young people in Local Government can really make an impact and I believe his success will encourage many others to consider how they too can get involved in making a difference within their own communities.

“He is the youngest deputy leader in the country, a position he achieved solely on merit and I regard him as a one of NNDC’s most valuable assets.

“He makes a huge contribution as a member of the Cabinet and as a local Member for Sheringham South Ward. His work to gain funding for a skate park for Sheringham and to ensure improvement works were made to Sheringham Little Theatre has proved that he has a lot to offer residents of north Norfolk in what I hope will be a long and rewarding career in politics.”

Councillor Oliver became the youngest deputy leader in the country at the age 22 in January 2013.