The temporary mortuary at the former RAF Coltishall base, at Scottow, is being used for the first time since April. Originally set up during the first lockdown, the facility was not needed then but is now being used as part of what have been called “business continuity plans”. Dr Richard Goodwin, of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: “Our priority is to always ensure that the deceased are treated with respect and dignity, and therefore we work with our partners to ensure every year we can use additional mortuary space, if needed.” The mortuary has been called in to use partly to help with seasonal pressures and partly to allow the installation of new equipment at the N&N mortuary, which is still in use. The hospital publishes daily figures on covid-related deaths on its website. Yesterday it announced the deaths of 13 patients who had tested positive between January 12 and 13.
Twenty-four people have been fined after police shut down an
illegal New Year’s Eve gathering in Ludham.
The fixed penalty notices were issued for breach of
gathering and mixing desks and a generator were seized.
Police learned of the event shortly after 9.30pm after
receiving reports of a rave on Hall Road in the village.
Officers discovered approximately 60 people at what appeared to be the early stages of an unlicensed music event being set up at around 9.45pm.
Roads were blocked to prevent access to the site and two
people were also reported for possession of drugs.
Supt Terry Lordan said: “With so many people in Norfolk
abiding by the Tier 4 regulations put in place to keep us all safe, it is very
disappointing to then have a minority behave in this way. These events are not
only illegal and, with the threat of coronavirus, extremely unsafe, they also
cause unnecessary damage and disruption.
“Across Norfolk, the large majority of our residents spent a
peaceful evening welcoming in the New Year, for which I am grateful. This small
group of individuals who looked to attend this event however, learned that,
where we can, we will prevent, disrupt or stop a rave or unlicensed musical
event from taking place and we won’t hesitate to use covid enforcement action
where we need to.”
The Friends of Holt Hall have expressed their disappointment in the decision to close and sell centre, which has been enjoyed for more than 70 years but say the fight to save it is far from over.
meeting on December 7, Norfolk County Council Cabinet made the decision FOHH
had been dreading, ceasing its activities with immediate effect and putting the
hall and its 75 acres of outdoor space and woodland up for sale.
But the group, which has campaigned to keep Holt Hall open, says it is not the end of the road and is looking into the possibility that the hall could become an Asset of Community Value when it does go on the market.
Trustee and treasurer Nic Hopkins said: “To say we are disappointed is an understatement, but this is not the time to list these emotions. It is time to explain why we think it is not the end.”
statement, FOHH says it is cheered by the supportive letters and the number of
people signing its petition at www.change.org/SaveHoltHall – 5,800 have signed so far and are still signing after
the council’s decision.
a massive demonstration to show people see the public interest in Saving Holt
Hall,” said Nic. “This is not just sentimentality. It is about values. You
never know, events might even lead to a change of policy in the administration
at County Hall, and public opinion may prove to be a powerful influence on
In October, the council announced it was no longer
able to afford the facility, saying it would rather enable outdoor learning
than provide it. And this month it was decided to close it completely.
Fearing the worst, the Friends have applied to North
Norfolk District Council to have it made an asset of community value, meaning that
they could bid for it themselves.
Greg Peck, cabinet member for property, urged them to
“honestly appraise their business case and to really consider the viability of
operating the site as an outdoor education facility” and Nic said the
Friends would be heeding this advice.
take his advice and further develop a robust business plan, but we are going to
do this in consultation with the individuals and organisations who have
expressed interest already in partnership ways to take forward an alternative
future for Outdoor Learning at Holt Hall.
“We are doing our homework, researching and talking, listening and planning, with possible partners, other Outdoor Learning centres of expertise, users and private individuals and, we hope, Norfolk County Council.”
decision on the ACV should be made in January and the Friends are hopeful of a
of the public are being urged to consider the #IMPACT of driving under the
influence of drink or drugs as Norfolk Police launch their Christmas campaign.
The month-long initiative launches today, Tuesday 1 December and
continues until Friday 1 January, in conjunction with a UK-wide operation led
by the National Police Chiefs’ Council. It will see officers carrying-out
roadside checks throughout the day and night, including early morning checks,
as well as intelligence-led enforcement activity.
The aim, to target irresponsible and dangerous drivers and also to
protect other road users from the harm caused by those drink or drug driving.
As we continue to reiterate, driving whilst under the influence of drink or
drugs is one of the ‘Fatal 4’ offences, which makes you more likely to be
involved in either a serious or fatal collision.
During last year’s campaign, in Norfolk 613
breath tests were carried out with 95 drivers providing positive readings (74
men/21 women). Of the 100 drug tests conducted, 82 drivers failed (78 men/four
women). In addition, 15 people failed to provide a specimen and 22 people were
arrested for being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.
we continue to detect and prosecute these offences throughout the year
during ‘business as usual’, recent research published by Drinkaware shows that some people have significantly
increased their alcohol consumption at home during the lockdown. Our message this year, is
therefore to remind those celebrating at home, that no matter what the setting,
drink driving will not be tolerated and those who get behind the wheel and put
themselves and others at risk will face the full force of the law.
This year we will be teaming up with the
Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service
to raise awareness of the #IMPACT that driving under the influence of drink or
drugs can have.
The #IMPACT campaign is a joint initiative,
launched by the PCC in 2016, which delivers hard-hitting road safety messages to
young and future drivers in an attempt to deter them from putting their own
lives and the lives of others at risk. Visiting colleges and sixth forms around
Norfolk, #IMPACT gives students an insight into what it is like to be involved
in a car crash and what is involved for our emergency services in trying to
free someone from a vehicle.
As part of the Christmas Drink Drive
Campaign, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are staging three mock ‘crashed car’
scenes along roads near its fire stations in King’s Lynn, Thetford and
Sprowston, in Norwich. The aim is to have a wider reaching #IMPACT on motorists
who will be driving past. The project will also carry the Fatal4 messaging and
the scenes will be created next week and left there for a month to highlight the
problem throughout the Christmas and New Year holiday.
Members of the public are also being
encouraged to provide information about potential offenders to help officers
identify who they are, so they can take appropriate action and prevent such
Specific time slots have once again been reserved at Norwich Magistrates
Courts for every Wednesday of the month to deal with those caught
drink-driving. This effectively means that offenders could lose their driving
licence within 24 hours of being breathalysed whilst facing additional fines.
Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, Head of the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team,
said: “This has been a very difficult and challenging year for everyone,
with little opportunity to get together with loved ones or celebrate special
occasions. With that in mind, we are more than aware that many people will be
desperate for some respite over the Christmas period and the chance to share a
drink with friends and family – wherever the Covid-19 regulations allow.
want people to be able to enjoy themselves, but to do so sensibly and without
risking the lives of others. There is no room for people to think that just
because it’s Christmas, or that 2020 has been a year to forget, that getting
behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of drink or drugs is any more
acceptable than it would usually be.
message is consistent – it is not acceptable any year, or at any time of the
year – drink and drug driving kills and we urge friends and relatives not to
tolerate or condone their loved ones taking this unnecessary risk.
also worth remembering that every year we often catch people driving over the
limit the morning after a night of drinking. You need time for the effects of
alcohol to wear off, so the advice to anyone who has to drive early the next
morning is not to drink at all.
don’t gamble with peoples’ lives for the sake of a drink and do not let anyone
you know do so either – the same applies if you know someone has used drugs. The chances of being caught, put in a police cell and losing your
driving licence and your job is high, as is the risk of destroying a life and
causing death or serious injury – it is just not worth it.”
Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member
for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, said: “Our
fire crews and road safety team see all too often the devastating impact of
drink and drug driving, as well as the other Fatal 4 factors of speed, using
mobile phones and not wearing a seatbelt.”
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Scott Norman
said: “We hope these mock scenes will get motorists thinking twice before
they get behind the wheel this winter. Drink and drug driving can affect not
only those involved in an accident, but their families, friends and whole
communities. Although we see the aftermath of collisions every day, the scenes
still have a real and lasting effect on us all, and many of the accidents are
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner,
Lorne Green, said: “Since its launch four years ago, #IMPACT has targeted
young and future drivers specifically, but its hard-hitting and massively
important messages – about the responsibility we accept when we get behind the
steering wheel, and the potential consequences when we don’t take that
responsibility seriously – are a useful reminder for us all as we head out of
lockdown and into the Christmas period.
“As more of us return to the roads over
the coming days and weeks, please heed this warning from our police and fire
& rescue services about the potential #IMPACT of your actions. I urge you
to think about other road users, think about our emergency services but
ultimately remember the life you save may even be your own.”
Anyone with information about suspected drink or drug driving should contact Norfolk Police on 101.
Hospital staff, scientists and residents in Norfolk have
joined the quest to find an effective covid-19 vaccine by taking part in a new
clinical trial at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
The NHS is playing a leading role in developing a vaccine
for covid-19 and the N&N has a key role in delivering a new vaccine
clinical trial with support from the National Institute for Health Research
Hundreds of participants – volunteers from the hospital,
across Norwich Research Park and the local community – have joined the research
study at the N&N-run Clinical Research Facility at the Quadram Institute.
It comes after 15,000 UK volunteers were invited to join a
new phase three covid-19 vaccine clinical trial. The Novavax vaccine trial is a
randomised controlled trial where half of the participants will receive two
shots of the vaccine and the other half will receive two shots of a placebo.
The whole of the hospital’s research department – up to 50 staff, including research nurses, practitioners and administrators – have been diverted to work on covid-19 studies, including the vaccine trial, whilst continuing to run their own research portfolios.
Sam Higginson, N&N chief executive, is one of the 500
from the site to take part in the vaccine trial.
He said: “I’m thrilled that we are playing our part in this
vitally important research, which will hopefully lead to a successful covid-19
vaccine in the future. I had no hesitation in putting my name forward to take
part in this Phase 3 trial, which is testing the effectiveness of the vaccine.
The team has received a lot of interest from potential participants and it is
great to hear that so many staff and colleagues from Norwich Research Park want
to take part in this study. Congratulations to the research team for their hard
work on this.”
David Parfrey, chief executive of Norwich Research Park,
said: “Norwich Research Park has a unique mix of four world-leading research
institutes, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and University of East
Anglia on the same campus. It means that, through the power of collaboration,
issues critical to the health of the nation and beyond can be tackled here in a
unique way. The covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly the biggest crisis the UK has
had to deal with in a lifetime and it’s fantastic that colleagues at the
Quadram Institute have joined forces with those at the hospital to actively
work together on this, and that so many colleagues from across our Park have volunteered
to participate in the trial.”
To find out more about taking part in covid-19 vaccine researchclick here , or to register your interest in joining future trials, click here.
Precautionary testing for covid-19 is under way at the Bernard Matthews site in Great Witchingham after several members of staff tested positive for the virus.
The testing of approximately 1,000 staff at the site has begun and will continue into early next week.
There have been a number of cases among staff at the site, although at this point there is not evidence to suggest transmission of the virus there. It is anticipated that this measure will identify if there are any asymptomatic staff who are currently showing no signs.
Following government guidance, any staff member who tests positive will be advised to self-isolate, along with their households. Norfolk’s Outbreak Management Team and partners are working closely with Bernard Matthews to take measures to reduce transmission in order to protect both staff and the public.
Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk’s Director of Public Health, said: “Our top priority is to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, which will help to protect the staff at Bernard Matthews and the public. This testing is a sensible, precautionary measure that will help us understand who at the site has covid-19 and who else they may have been in contact with.
“While there is currently no
evidence to suggest widespread transmission at the Great Witchingham site, we
know that testing can help to understand and contain the spread of the virus.
We would remind everyone across Norfolk, to continue to act responsibly,
respect the Rule of Six and follow the government’s guidance. We must all
continue to wash our hands, wear face coverings when required to and observe
social distancing – hands, face and space – to have the best chance of keeping
the virus under control.”
A spokesman for Bernard
Matthews said: “We can confirm a small number of positive cases at our site at
Great Witchingham. These colleagues and their contacts are now self-isolating
at home, and we will continue to work closely with public health officials to
monitor the situation. There is no evidence these transmissions occurred in the
factory. Food production and safety remain unaffected.”
Rebecca Hams, Consultant in Health Protection at Public Health England East, said: “Testing and tracing is one of the key steps in identifying and containing the spread of covid-19 and staff at the factory are being tested as a precautionary measure. Mass testing in this way will help to protect staff and the community, by allowing us to identify people who are carrying the virus but who may not have developed symptoms.”
A woman involved in an illegal
gathering in Norwich on Thursday has been given a £10,000 fixed penalty notice.
It follows a gathering on the Haymarket which started just after midday and involved more than 80 people protesting against the covid-19 prevention restrictions.
The 37-year-old, from the Norwich
area, was arrested at the scene after refusing to provide her details to
police. She was taken into custody at Wymondham and following enquiries later
issued with the fixed penalty notice for contravening the ban on being involved
in holding a gathering of more than 30 people.
In addition, a 25-year-old man from the Norwich area arrested at the scene on suspicion of common assault after allegedly coughing at a woman, has since been charged with the offence. He has been released on bail to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Monday, November 23.
Three other people at the gathering
were reported for the offence of organising or facilitating a gathering of more
than 30 people, in breach of the Health Protection Regulations.
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks, who has been leading the local police response to coronavirus, said: “As a police force, we fully appreciate how difficult the past six months have been for the county and I am pleased that the vast of majority of people have played and continue to play their part, following the guidance and legislation helping to protect Norfolk and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“However, the infection rate is now rising rapidly across the
country and while in Norfolk it
is not increasing as significantly as other areas, we must carry on working
together to keep everyone safe. Our focus will remain on our use of the 4Es –
engaging, explaining, encouraging and then enforcing when required.
“The gathering yesterday was in breach of the Health Protection
Regulations and we took action to disperse the group including making two
arrests. We will all have a role to play in keeping our county safe going
forward and we won’t hesitate to take action if needed.
“We police by consent and we need people and businesses to
work with us on this. Our approach will remain the same: engaging with people
first, explaining the guidance and law and encouraging people to do the right
thing. However, we will not sit back and allow people to deliberately break the
law. Where we are left with no choice but to enforce, we will do so to protect
“If members of the public are concerned that the law is being
broken or they are experiencing anti-social behaviour, they can report this to
us and we will consider the most appropriate response, targeting repeat and high-risk
behaviour. We all have a personal responsibility to reduce the spread of coronavirus
and ensure that police enforcement is used only as a last resort. Reports
should be made through our online reporting wherever possible.”