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2016/17 Budget Consultation Meeting

Invitation to business ratepayers to discuss the Council's spending plans for the forthcoming financial year.

03 February 2016
calculator, pen, charts and graphs

The Council will be holding a meeting at 9.00am on Friday 12th February 2016. This meeting aims to give ratepayers the chance to discuss the councils spending plans for the forthcoming financial year before they are finalised.

The meeting is open to any organisation, group or individual with a business interest in the North Norfolk Area. If you are interested in attending this meeting or would like some further information, please contact the Accountancy section by emailing accountancy@north-norfolk.gov.uk.

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

Sports club and hub launch

A new community sports hub has been launched at Briston Sports Pavilion and a new sports club is up and running at Sidestrand Hall School.

20 October 2015
Angie Fitch-Tillett launches Sidestrand Hall School sports club

 A Sports Club was launched by Cabinet Member, Angie Fitch-Tillett (pictured) at Sidestrand Hall School recently. The club offers martial arts and street dancing for students attending the school. Set up our Senior Sport Activator, Wyn Nurse in February 2015, the Club will now be run by students and staff with professional coaches.

The latest Community Sports Hub was launched at Briston Sports Pavilion. Introduced in January by Wyn Nurse, Briston Community Hub offers yoga and archery and will now be run by a voluntary committee formed by participants of the classes including yoga teacher, Cecile Pons.

The launch of Sidestrand School Club and Briston Community Hub follow on from the Council’s ‘Sports Clubs and Hubs’ project which started in January 2015 to help more local people get in to sport.  Classes ranging from Belly Dancing to Badminton have been offered at community hubs across the District and sessions including street dancing have been delivered to three north Norfolk schools with plans for clubs to be set up in more schools in 2016.

Interested in setting up a hub in your community? Please contact Wyn Nurse on 07795265671.

eastlaw shortlisted for two prestigious awards

Our award-winning legal team, eastlaw, has made it to the finals of the British Legal Award 2015 and the Modern Law Awards 2015.

20 October 2015
Award-winning eastlaw legal services team

eastlaw, 2014 winners of The Lawyers in Local Government Award for Information Management, has been shortlisted for the In-House Innovation category of the British Legal Awards alongside national organisations including Barclays and Carillion. The British Legal Awards are the leading awards for the UK's thriving business law community acting as a showcase for the achievements of one of the country's most successful sectors.

The team will be battling it out against five other high-performing legal practices for Modern Law Awards’ Team of the Year. The Modern Law Awards celebrate and identify sparkling talent and success in entrepreneurship, market development, business management and best practice in the modern legal services arena.

The concept of eastlaw was developed by the 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 our 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 generating income for the Council.

eastlaw’s innovative and agile approach has not only secured it position as a value for money, specialist legal service which is efficient, effective and highly regarded, it has been recognised nationally with a number of prestigious awards. More recently, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPRA) has recognised eastlaw as offering exceptional value for money with a cost of £ 1.69* against an average of £5.30 making the team financially competitive in a group of comparable legal service providers.