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Norfolk drink/drug driving results shock

Nearly 190 people were arrested during the Christmas drink and drug driving campaign in Norfolk, with more people testing positive for drugs than alcohol.

Norfolk police have just released the results of the month-long campaign, launched on 1 December 2018, which targeted drivers getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs. A total of 189 drivers were arrested.

A break down of the results shows that 1,140 breath tests were carried out with 72 people providing positive readings, while 97 people failed drug tests out the 180 conducted.  In addition, nine people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen while 11 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

During the 2017 campaign, 947 tests were carried out with 81 drivers providing positive readings. Of the 172 drug tests conducted 56 drivers failed. In addition, six people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen while 12 people were arrested for being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

This year again saw specific time slots at Norwich Magistrates’ Courts being reserved to deal with those caught drink or drug driving. This effectively meant that offenders could lose their licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, Head of the Roads Armed Policing Team (RAPT), said: “It’s disappointing to see that people are still prepared to take the risk and get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, although it does appear to be a minority of motorists.

“A notable difference during this campaign is that there have been more drivers tested positive for drugs than alcohol. While this is a concern, drug driving is something we actively target all year round. It’s also a reflection of our increased ability to carry out roadside tests for cannabis and cocaine.

“Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower and therefore increasing the chances of being involved in a collision.”

 

A roadside drug-test device.

 

 

Big plans for Sprowston’s community gardeners

A library garden and a Norfolk orchard are among plans those involved in Sprowston’s community greenhouses project are making for 2019.

Project co-ordinator Mike Ellard is due to meet staff at Sprowston Library at 4pm on January 7 to discuss plans for a sensory garden there and would welcome others to go along to offer support and ideas.

“This could be financially, or help in getting this under way,” said Mike. “Starting from a blank canvas is always quite daunting.”

Mike and other volunteers have started planting a local-varieties orchard outside the project’s base, the greenhouses behind Sprowston Community Hub, on Aslake Close.

“We are looking at planting well-known Norfolk varieties,” said Mike. “It will take a few years to get established. Perhaps we will start a trend at Christmas of eating biffing pie – a Victorian Norfolk tradition – instead of mince pies” (Biffing is a variety of Norfolk apple).

The busy volunteers spent a day selling prepared bulbs in Christmas tubs and pots at Tesco, on Blue Boar Lane, and almost sold out, raising £200.49.

Mike was delighted when a 25-strong team from Norwich-based GoodGym turned up and made short work of clearing one of the glasshouses. GoodGym members combine running with helping communities.

“They cleared all the old tomatoes, peppers, aubergine, and tomatillos which have been quickly replaced with flowers and some other fruit and vegetables. We have rhubarb for forcing, spring cabbage and strawberries have also been planted, as well as some dwarf kiwi fruit bushes,” Mike added.

  • For more information, or to get involved with the project, ring Mike on: 0795 2071 947.
  • Clare Lincoln, of Sprowston Youth Engagement Project, with a Christmas wreath made during a community garden project session.
  • Goodgym members in one of the greenhouses.

 

 

The project’s stall at Tesco’s.

Get involved with sensory garden project

Everyone is invited to a meeting at Sprowston Library on Monday January 7 at 4pm to talk about transforming a dull, bare piece of land outside the building (pictured) into a sensory garden.

The project will be carried out by the community, for the community.

With special consideration of how a garden can appeal to all senses, a sensory garden can be particularly enjoyed by those living with dementia or the visually impaired.

If you or your organisation would like to involved with the project in any way, just turn up for the meeting.  Contact claire.sharland@norfolk.gov.uk for more information.

  • Every Tuesday, from 10.30am-noon the library hosts a Just a Cuppa Coffee Morning. If you’re at a loose end and fancy some company, drop by for a chat over a cuppa and a biscuit.

 

Second baby for MP Chloe

Chloe Smith (pictured), MP for Norwich North, is expecting her second child in May next year.

Chloe, 36, and husband Sandy, 40, are looking forward to a brother or sister for toddler Alastair, now 2.

 Chloe, who is in her tenth year representing Norwich North, says:

 “We’re really excited and delighted. Alastair will love having a little brother or sister to play with. It’ll be hard work but a source of joy.”

 As with their first child, Chloe and Sandy hope to take six months each of shared parental leave. Chloe will make arrangements for her constituency work to be fully covered.

 

 

Becky brings Swing Train craze to Norfolk

It’s so new it hasn’t even got a Wiki page yet.

But Swing Train – dance/fitness set to belting Charleston, swing, gospel, electro-swing and jazz tunes – has reached Norfolk from London thanks to Sprowston resident and former North Walsham-area schoolgirl Becky Powell.

With the growing popularity of vintage fashion and music Becky hopes those who love that era, and anyone looking for a new, strictly-fun way to work out, will give it a whirl.

Swing Train borrows moves from vintage dance styles such as lindy hop which are blended into a cardio workout suitable for all levels of fitness.

Becky, who grew up in Worstead, discovered it while living in London where she trained as an instructor in several forms of fitness.

She has been dancing, and loving it, since joining the north Norfolk-based Footnotes school as a 12-year-old. Later, as a student, she was an active member of York University’s ballet society.

Initially, it didn’t look as though Becky would follow her feet into a career. An academic high-flyer, she gained four As at A-level and went on to graduate from York with a first-class honours degree in maths and physics.

Convinced she wanted to become a school teacher, Becky studied for her post-graduate certificate of education at Cambridge University and landed a job at a primary school near Watford.

“I wanted everyone to love learning and they didn’t,” she remembered. “The teaching part was OK but it was everything else – I was in work at 7am and left at 7pm with a load of books to mark – and I found behaviour management difficult. I spent Boxing Day drawing up a seating plan for seven boys who couldn’t sit next to each other!”

She left to take up a post as an “explainer” at the Science Museum in London, spending 18 months bursting balloons, blowing bubbles and breaking eggs to help children understand everything from why it hurts to sit on one nail but not hundreds, and the manufacture of poo in the digestive system.

Next came a brief spell back at university when Becky began and soon gave up an MSc degree course in aerodynamics and advanced computation.

After a lot of soul-searching, she then decided to follow her passion and become a dance/fitness teacher.

Becky funded her training in London with a part-time job and gained qualifications as an instructor in Swing Train, Booty Barre and bbarreless – the last two being combinations of dance, pilates and yoga.

Since moving back to Norfolk Becky has started teaching at White House Farm, Sprowston; County Hall, Norwich; and in North Walsham, where she also runs an adult beginners’ tap-dancing class.

“I absolutely love it all,” she said. “Dance and fitness make me feel free and wonderful and I love passing on that passion.

“I’m pleased I’ve given so many things a try. I would regret more not giving something a go. It’s better to be brave and bold – and see what happens!”

  • Visit: https://www.inertiafitness.co.uk, email becky@inertiafitness.co.uk or text/call: 07748300091.
  • PICTURES BY JACQUELINE HARMER

 

 

Sprowston Lidl opening date announced

Lidl UK has today confirmed that its new supermarket on Blue Boar Lane in Sprowston, will open its doors for the first time on Thursday 22nd November.

Customers are invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8am and will be offered the chance to sample some of Lidl’s award winning products throughout the day, along with exclusive deals and offers on selected products for the first week of opening. These include a cordless drill driver (£29.99, RRP £49.99) from Thursday 22nd, vintage-style drawers (£19.99, RRP £39.99) from Friday 23rdand an espresso machine (£39.99, RRP £79.99) from Saturday 24th November.

The new supermarket forms part of the company’s ongoing expansion and regeneration plans in the UK and has created up to 40 new jobs for the local community. The store has a 1,424m² sales area and features facilities such as an in-store bakery, longer-style tills with dual packing, customer toilets, baby changing and ample parking for both cars and bicycles.

Lidl UK’s Regional Head of Property, Andrew Hodgkinson, commented: “We would like to thank all those who have played a part in bringing this new Lidl store to Sprowston. It is great for us to be able to create more jobs and investment opportunities in the area, and we can’t wait to start serving our multi-award winning products to the local community.”

Lidl UK has experienced continued growth over the years as consumers flock to the supermarket to discover its great value products – more than two thirds of which are British sourced – ranging from quality fruit and vegetables, to premium wines from its much coveted Wine Tour collections. Its ongoing success shows no signs of slowing, with the latest Kantar Worldpanel results highlighting Lidl’s continued success with increased sales year on year and market share high of 5.6%.

Just Regional celebrates first decade!

Yes that’s right, it was 10 years ago when the first issue of Just Aylsham first popped through letterboxes.

For those who don’t know the story, business owner Lee Todd was keen to see a local magazine full of local stories for his home town and so the idea of the hyperlocal Just name was established.

The Aylsham magazine was soon joined by one dedicated to North Walsham and the business then expanded along the coast, into other parts of Broadland and finally around the outskirts of Norwich.

Today, the Just magazines hits 50,000 dooormats in 10 areas, with free pick-ups in libraries, information centres and shops.

Just Regional serves 10 towns and city suburbs in Norfolk with four-weekly titles (three-weekly in Aylsham) and also covers all of those communities with Summer and Christmas special publications.

Built on a belief that hyperlocal news can be presented using high specification paper, quality journalism, excellent photography and professional sales, the business has grown from two part-time staff to 10 office staff and 120 distribution staff with their offices in Aylsham, a location central to all of the areas covered.

Lee said: “We’ve done an incredible job in Norfolk showing how hyperlocal can work, in a competitive marketplace, both for advertisers and readers.

“A lot of publishers have talked about hyperlocal for a long time – we have actually done it and made a success of the model.

“However we couldn’t have done it without our advertisers who have supported us right from day one. A big thank you to them and a happy anniversary to us!”

A big fan of the publications is BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad, who said: “Just Regional produce outstanding magazines run by wonderful people who love and champion their towns and villages. As the owner of a local business who has worked with Just Regional, these guys really get behind you and believe in you. Over the past decade they have woven themselves into the fabric of the communities they represent”.

The first issue of Just Aylsham from October 2008.