CCTV appeal following alcohol and cash theft in Hoveton

Police are appealing for help to identify a woman following an incident in Hoveton earlier this month.

Between the times of 7.20pm and 7.30pm on Sunday 2 April 2017 a quantity of alcohol and cash has been stolen from the VB of Wroxham Ltd store in the Riverside Centre.

Officers would like to speak with the woman captured in the CCTV images in connection with the incident.

Anyone who may recognise her, or anyone with information, should contact PCSO Laura Charter at Hoveton Police Station on 101.

Alternatively contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form at

Victims of domestic abuse to benefit from £100,000 funding

Domestic abuse experts Leeway are teaming up with a trio of district and borough councils to make use of £100,000 extra funding.

The extra money will be added to ongoing efforts to support domestic abuse victims across North Norfolk, West Norfolk and Breckland over the next two years.

The money is part of a national £20 million fund announced by the government in the last few days and it is anticipated the money will help 117 women and 142 children.

Funding will be used across the three council areas to pay for a specialist domestic abuse case worker with mental health and substance misuse expertise; a dedicated refuge bed space for women with no recourse to public funds or for those who are not economically active or those who have lost their eligibility status; a rent-guarantee scheme enabling women to move on to independent living quicker in the private rent sector.

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, said: “It is fantastic that local councils have secured funding to support those experiencing domestic abuse. The work we do in partnership with local authorities is extremely important and it is vital that we are able to continue to offer a high-quality service to those that need it. It is fantastic that the government are taking a proactive stance to tackle domestic abuse, which will undoubtedly make a massive difference to many people that are experiencing domestic abuse.”

Richard Price, North Norfolk District Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This is about helping people in very difficult situations make informed choices at the right time, whatever their level of need. The bid put together by Leeway and the three authorities has been recognised as having great potential and we all look forward to its success into the future.”

Leeway is also running fundraising events throughout the year, like this skydive. There are still spaces if you would like to support them.

Children’s charity gets £10,000 from Roys

Charity Nelson’s Journey has received a £10,000 donation from Roys of Wroxham to help its work with bereaved children.

Nelson’s Journey was chosen as Roys charity of the year to receive all donations raised through sale of 5p carrier bags at Roys’ eight stores and Highway Garden and Leisure.

Sarah Hyde from Nelson’s Journey said: “We are absolutely amazed by the incredible support offered from Roys and their customers. We are pleased to have the backing of such a wonderful organisation, full of staff enthusiastic about our charity.”

The £10,000 can fund 40 children to attend one of the therapeutic residential weekends at Hilltop in Sheringham. The weekend is packed full of team building, coping strategies and memory work with other children and young people of a similar age, giving them the right tools and confidence to move forward positively with their lives.

Ed Roy, managing director at Roys, presented the cheque, saying: “We are very pleased to be helping such a worthwhile cause, Roys would like to thank each and every customer that has donated money by purchasing a carrier bag and we look forward to being able to present Nelson’s Journey with future donations throughout the year.”

If you would like to donate or would like help from the child bereavement support team at Nelson’s Journey then you can find more details at

Photo left to right: Ed Roy (Managing Director Roys), Simon Wright (Chief Executive Nelson’s Journey), Sarah Hyde (Community Funding and Marketing Officer Nelson’s Journey)

Apply for share of £17,500 community funding

Community groups across North Norfolk are being invited to bid for a share of a £17,500 windfall, with the latest round of funding from the Victory Housing Community Fund.

Charities, voluntary groups, community organisations and parish councils can bid for grants of up to £5,000, to be used for a wide range of purposes, including capital projects, venue hire, equipment, start-up expenses and training.

The fund, which aims to provide support for community groups which are making a difference at grassroots level in local communities, was started by Victory Housing Trust in 2008, and has so far given out a total of 134 grants totalling £368,385.

The last round of grants, in November, saw eight community groups receive grants of between £400 and £5,000, to help with projects as diverse as transforming an allotment and surrounding land into a junior ball games area, helping to employ a manager at a food bank, training volunteers to support families in their communities, and purchasing archery equipment for a Scout group.

Groups have until Monday, April 3, to submit their bids, with the decision about where the money goes being made by a panel made up of Victory Housing Trust residents, advised by the grants team at Norfolk Community Foundation, which administers the fund on behalf of Victory.

“We are delighted once again to open our community fund for grants bids,” said Victory Housing Trust chief executive John Archibald.  “In the past nine years we have supported so many fantastic community initiatives, helping those organisations which really make our communities tick at grassroots level.

“The process of applying for a grant is simple and user-friendly, and we particularly encourage bids from organisations which have not applied before.”

Applications for grants can be made by any organisation or group established for charitable purposes, provided there is a formal structure which allows for monitoring of activity and feedback – official charitable status is not necessary.  The fund is looking for applications from voluntary and community groups in the North of Norfolk whose primary aim is to improve the quality of people’s lives.

Full details of how to apply for grants from the Victory Housing Community Fund can be found at




Council takes steps to keep tax down in North Norfolk

Potential development at sites in Holt and Cromer will be part of a wider strategy announced by North Norfolk District Council to keep the district’s element of council tax frozen.
Budget proposals to maintain a zero council tax rise for the seventh year in a row at £138.87 for a Band D property will be considered by the council’s cabinet when it meets on Monday (February 6). Any decision will then be referred to full council.
On the agenda cabinet members will consider two key budget reports – the 2017/18 Budget Report and the Strategic Property Development Partner and Work Programme.
These two papers set out how the council could operate with no council tax increase in 2017/18 at a time when other authorities are planning to increase their charge.
The strategy looks to take a more commercial approach to council-owned assets and considers developing four key sites in the district.
These include a residential development at Grove Lane in Holt and a commercial development at Cadogan Road in Cromer.
The Holt site is a former council depot, more recently leased to Norfolk County Council for office use, a two-storey office building, two workshop or storage buildings and a yard area. The property has been vacant for two years.
The site would require significant investment to be re-let for business use and would have a greater value through accommodating a residential development, subject to planning approval, the council said.
Two proposals have been examined, one for five houses to be sold and the other for eight houses to be rented.
The Cromer site is a central car and coach park facility with public toilet block, set back from the seafront.
The site has been identified to accommodate a development, subject to planning approval, by a national hotel chain, while allowing some continued public parking. There has been interest by two hotel operators in recent years – Premier Inn and Travelodge. Both operators are understood to be seeking to develop an 80 room hotel in the town.
Any development of the car park to accommodate a hotel would require alternative coach parking and it has been suggested alternative facilities could be provided on the surfaced area of the nearby Runton Road car park.
Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “North Norfolk is a well-run, financially sound authority that delivers excellent services: by continually working to ensure that we are innovative, efficient and effective across all our operations, we are able to bring forward budget proposals that would freeze our council tax rate for the seventh year in a row.”
The council is in a strong financial position for 2017/18 and 2018/19 but Government funding to the council is reducing and there is a forecast deficit of £700,000 in 2019/20 and £1.3m in 2020/21. This figure already includes the council raising income or identifying savings totalling £3 million pounds.

N & P branches to close in North Walsham, Sheringham and Wroxham

Norwich and Peterborough building society branches in North Walsham, Sheringham and Wroxham are among 28 to be closed under plans by The Yorkshire Building Society Group .

The group announced proposals to make changes to its branch network, product range and one of its brands with the aim to deliver better long-term value to its 3.3m customers.

The Yorkshire aims to close 20 Yorkshire Building Society branches in May and 28 Norwich and Peterborough (N&P) branches from September. It would maintain a high street network of 260 branches and agencies across the UK, with Yorkshire Building Society as the sole high street brand.

The Society plans to close its N&P current accounts to existing customers, and withdraw the N&P brand from the high street over the next year.

The Society will work with affected customers and will contact them to outline what these proposals mean for their specific circumstances.

Mike Regnier, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “As a mutual, it is important that we always act in the best long-term interests of our membership and evolve the business in line with their changing needs. We believe these proposals give us greater focus on providing existing and future members with the things they want from us most: a safe place for their savings and funding to buy their own home, and providing these in an easy and simple way.”

“The driving forces behind the proposed branch closures are shifts in market conditions and an increasing desire among customers to transact digitally rather than on the high street. We therefore no longer believe it is the right commercial position for us to continue to maintain these 48 branches across the N&P and Yorkshire network.”

Other branches affected are Aylsham Road, Bowthorpe Main Centre and Chapelfied, Norwich.

Who deserves a Big Society award?

Do you know someone who deserves to be thanked for the work they do in the community or an organisation which deserves praise?

North Norfolk District Council is organising a Big Society Awards Night to thank the people and the projects that help to create a strong community.

The Big Society Awards Night, which has the support of North Norfolk Radio, will be held at Sheringham Little Theatre on  March 23 to celebrate the Big Society community spirit that helps to make North Norfolk such a great place to live.

People are being asked to nominate a project or a person that has made a difference in their community by January 27.

Categories open to public nomination are:

  • Community Project Award – for projects that are based in or benefit people in the district.
  • Voluntary Services Award for Sport – for someone who has made an outstanding contribution to sport in the district.
  • Voluntary Services Award for someone who has made an outstanding contribution for young people in the district.
  • Voluntary Services Award for someone who has made an outstanding contribution for older people in the district.
  • Voluntary Services Award for someone who has made an outstanding contribution to their neighbourhood.

NNDC will also be inviting projects which were awarded a Big Society Fund between 2014 – 16 to make nominations in two other categories which are:

  • Outstanding Contribution to a Big Society Funded Project – by an adult.
  • Outstanding Contribution to a Big Society Funded Project – by a young person aged under 18.

The council will also be presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council and chairman of the Big Society Fund Panel, said: “The Big Society is all about supporting community projects and these awards are all about recognising the exceptional community spirit in our area. Everyone who contributes to their community and helps others deserves recognition and I hope people will come forward with their nominations and publically thank the people who help others.”

A Big Society Awards event was held for the first time in 2014. For this the second event, members of the public are being asked to make nominations. The project or person does not have to be connected to a Big Society Funded project.

To put forward nominations:

New approach to council leadership

An innovative approach has been adopted by North Norfolk District Council to provide the council with clear leadership and structure.

At the full council meeting on November 16, elected members appointed corporate directors Nick Baker and Steve Blatch as joint head of paid service. Nick and Steve have worked at the authority for a total of 35 years. They replace former chief executive Sheila Oxtoby.

Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “This innovative approach will enable the council to be bold and decisive as we face future challenges.

“Our focus has always been to deliver an excellent service for our residents and to do that, we need to ensure we get the very best from the talented team of managers and staff we have here.”

This approach will build on the strengths of the senior officer team and mean a £240,000 annual saving to the council

Both Mr Blatch and Mr Baker have many years of experience of frontline service delivery, with Mr Blatch specialising in planning, economic development, housing and community engagement, and Mr Baker specialising in waste, environmental protection, civil contingencies and contract management.

In a joint statement Mr Blatch and Mr Baker said: “We will play to these strengths giving strong technical leadership and resilience.”

Tom Fitzpatrick

Tom FitzPatrick