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Half-term fun outside and in

A host of children’s activities will be on offer at Cromer, North Walsham and Stalham community sports centres over the forthcoming May half-term.

The sessions offer youngsters aged between four and 12 the chance to take part in football fun days, shooting, skating and street-dancing, as well as summer sports days and multi-sports events.

The events will take place between Tuesday, May 30, and Friday, June 2, at the North Norfolk District Council-managed centres.

As well as these activities, there are countryside events taking place in Holt Country Park and Sadler’s Wood, North Walsham. The fun on offer includes shelter-building, a look at amphibians, reptiles and lizards and the chance to build and launch a water rocket.

All-day activities are priced at £10 while shorter sessions are priced between £2 and £3.50. To make things easier for parents, there is the added option of arranging early drop-offs and late pick-ups for just £2 at some of the events.

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure, health and wellbeing, said: “These sessions offer great fun for children while keeping them busy and healthy.”

To download a brochure with more details, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/sports

To book the sports-centre events, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/book. Booking is not required for the countryside events at Holt Country Park and Sadler’s Wood, but children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. For further details of these activities, email anne-marie.gedge@north-norfolk.gov.uk or call 07920 576634.

Cromer’s first 60s festival totally groovy, man

Cromer’s first  60s Festival drew big crowds yesterday (Sunday April 23) to North Norfolk’s iconic Cromer Pier.

The St George’s Day celebration organised by North Norfolk District Council welcomed in excess of 3,000 visitors over the course of the day. Many came on vintage scooters and motorcycles and even more got into the spirit of the 1960s by dressing in period clothing.

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for culture said: “The success of Cromer’s 60s event really shows there’s an appetite for something new and fun along the North Norfolk coast to add to the already superb calendar of events in our area. We are definitely going to look into whether this can become a yearly event.”

The event ran from 10am-4pm and was officially opened by TV and radio presenter Helen McDermott. With vintage stalls and vehicles, a screening of the 1966 World Cup Final, live music and dance, Beatles and Thunderbirds exhibitions, food and happy hours in the Pier Bar with £1 a pint, the day was packed with fun.

Nigel Pearce, ward member for Suffield Park, Cromer, who championed the event, said: “It was amazing to see so many people having a great time while celebrating the 60s. The 60s are very special to me so being able to share some of my favourite things with other people was really great. Thanks to everyone who came along.”

Get your 60s groove on in Cromer, dudes

The 1960s was full of great music, great clothes and great new ideas, and this year the dudes at North Norfolk District Council and Cromer Pier are inviting you to celebrate the decade in style.

From Mods to mini-skirts, The Beatles to The Beach Boys, flower power to flares, Mini Coopers to mood rings, the 60s were a gas! So why not relive some of that magic at Cromer’s 60s Festival on The Pier and Promenade on St George’s Day, April 23.

Maggie Prior cabinet member for culture, leisure, health and wellbeing at North Norfolk District Council said: “Whether you remember the 60s or want to know what all the fuss was about, Cromer’s 60s Festival is set to capture the flavour, sights and sounds of that era.

“We’re so pleased this community event has attracted such support from groups, entertainers and businesspeople wanting to make the day special. Keep looking at our Facebook and Twitter posts for more confirmed activities and stands. As they used to say in the 60s – be there or be square!”

The festival will be officially opened by TV presenter Helen McDermott and showcase live music and dance, vintage vehicles, screenings of the 1966 World Cup, vintage clothes, Punch and Judy and great food. And in The Pier bar there will even be 1960s happy hours with beer at £1 a pint.

Nigel Pearce, ward member for Suffield Park, Cromer, who has championed and promoted the 60s festival for Cromer, said: “The 1960s is the decade when Britain led the world in music and fashion; that really was a time when we ruled the airwaves. St George’s Day is a time to feel proud and holding this new event on St George’s Day should make us all feel proud of Cromer and the people who make our town and our district so amazing.”

The event will feature:

  • Photographs, film footage and memorabilia
  • Beatles exhibition
  • Vintage mopeds, scooters and motorbikes
  • Live music
  • 1966 World Cup final screenings
  • £1-a-pint happy hours
  • Music and video tribute to the 1960s
  • A display of Gerry Anderson memorabilia featuring Stingray, Thunderbirds, Supercar, Fireball XL 5, Captain Scarlet and more
  • Vintage cars
  • BBC Radio Norfolk’s Wally Webb complete with Lambretta and Parka coat
  • Hog roast
  • Punch and Judy
  • Vintage clothing stalls
  • RNLI Lifeboat exercise, and so much more!

Name and shame those dog foulers in Cromer

North Norfolk District Council is calling on people in Cromer to help identify irresponsible dog owners near a popular local park.

The roads leading to Fearns Field in Suffield Park are repeatedly being contaminated by dog excrement with council patrollers discovering 15 in one morning last week.

Fearn Field itself, a favourite spot for children to play, is also suffering from dog fouling.

Angie Fitch-Tillett, cabinet member for environment said: “We have patrols all through the day trying to check on dog fouling and trying to identify the owners responsible for this. But we don’t have enough people to cover every foot of the roads and park at every moment of the day and night. So we’re calling on the communities of Cromer to help us help them. If you know who’s doing this, please tell us. If you see someone letting their dog foul and not picking up, report it with as much detail about the owner and the dog.”

The roads affected by significant fouling are Station Road, Carrington Road, Park Road and to a lesser extent Northrepps Road. Council officers are patrolling the area and have added path stencils along pavements to remind people they need to bag it and bin it. Dog excrement is also being sprayed different colours so officers can immediately identify new offences.

If you see someone leaving their dog’s poo report it here: http://bit.ly/2lYfJSN with as much information about the timing, the identity of the owner, location and dog. If you feel it is safe to take a photograph of the owner and dog, please send that to us at ep@north-norfolk.gov.uk

North Norfolk District Council has been running a #NoMessing campaign to raise awareness of dog fouling in North Norfolk. For more information see http://bit.ly/2lglEi6

A festive message but the sentiment still stands

Work starts March 6 on new Felbrigg roundaabout

Work is set to start on Monday, March 6, on a long-campaigned-for improvement at the junction of the A148 and B1436 at Felbrigg near Cromer.

This follows the announcement in June 2016 that the funding had been secured from a number of partners for the new £619,000 roundabout.

To allow the scheme to go ahead Hilary Cox, local county councillor for Cromer, worked to secure pledges of money from Norfolk County Council, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), North Norfolk District Council, Cromer Town Council, local parish councils of Roughton, Runton and Felbrigg, and developers and local businesses.

The work is expected to take 12 weeks to complete so the new roundabout should be in place by the end of May.

She said: “It’s so gratifying, after so many years of effort, to see this scheme about to start and backed by such a wide range of community supporters. The new roundabout means the junction will be much easier to negotiate, safer, and encourage vehicles that do not need to stop in Cromer to bypass it and cut congestion in the town.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the roundabout ready not only for all the local residents and businesses but also all the people who come to enjoy this lovely part of the world during the busy summer season.”

Martin Wilby, chairman of the Norfolk County Council’s environment, transport and development committee said: “This is a great example of a community coming together to deliver a local priority. This new roundabout will benefit local people and visitors alike.

“We try to minimise disruption during roadworks but know that delays are likely while the work is under way so we thank people for their patience while this much called for local scheme is built.

“It’s the first time we’ve seen a scheme made possible through partners’ contributions. This could well point the way forward for other requests for larger schemes which don’t meet the criteria for the county council to fund alone but which could be made possible if enough partners can chip in.”

During the majority of the work both the A148 and the B1436 will remain open however delays are likely as traffic will be controlled by temporary traffic lights so motorists are advised to leave extra time for their journeys.A temporary closure of the route will be required when the new roundabout is being surfaced.

Sue Arnold, North Norfolk District Council ward member for Felbrigg and chairman of the Steps to Safety Campaign said: “North Norfolk District Council is pleased to have been able to contribute nearly £30,000 to this project that will improve safety on the roads for our residents while cutting congestion and making visiting our beautiful area better for tourists.

“To get to this point after so many years is terrific, and it has taken hard work and strong support from many sides. I would especially like to thank the dedication and financial contribution made by local parish councils that have given at a level out of proportion to their relatively small size.”

Coffee Means Business in Cromer

Coffee Means Business is in Cromer this week for networking, hosted by Genix the business support agency for Norfolk’s business community.

January’s Coffee Means Business attracted more then 35 business people from a wide area who made new contacts over tea and coffee in the conservatory at Scarborough Hill Country Inn, North Walsham.

The speakers included Paul Brittain, who has recently established his company, Norfolk360. He’s a trusted Google supplier of 360 degree videos for Google Streetview. Paul showed how easy it is to increase footfall and sales by improving your online presence with internal and external tours of business premises. He showcased two companies who he has recently with worked onsite, Deer’s Glade Camping and Caravan Park and at Heydon Village Tea Shop, to bring both businesses to life, online.

Andrew Winship of Andrew David Photography, a new Genix patron, shared examples of both still life photography and videos to show how the most mundane products and business services can be improved and enhanced with great photography for print, social media and websites to encourage potential customers to buy. Short videos are becoming a must for business websites and Andrew showed different ways they can be used to get a business message across.

North Norfolk District Council commissioned Genix to organise and host Coffee Means Business in the North Norfolk area as they could see there was a need for a regular networking opportunity for businesses which didn’t involve expensive membership fees.

Genix were chosen because it is a not for profit organisation which, for more than 20 years, has been supporting businesses. In Norfolk, the organisation provides free business advice sessions for established businesses and start-ups, subsidised business skills courses and events for ambitious small businesses and self-employed people.

Nigel Dixon, cabinet member for business and economic development said: “It was a good informal session and a chance to hear directly from companies in our region. I’d encourage other businesses to come along to the next Coffee Means Business on Friday (February 17) at 9.30am at the Red Lion in Cromer.”

For more details regarding Genix and its subsidised services go to www.genix.org.uk or call 0800 096 3013.

Paul Brittain of Norfok360 at Coffee Means Business

Ruth Lowe of Ruth Elizabethevents.co.uk at CMB North Walsham

Summer concert plans for historic coastal hall

ABBA, Elvis, an orchestra, picnics and (hopefully) sunshine.

That’s the plan for two outdoor concerts to be held at Cromer Hall this summer.

Over the weekend of August 5 and 6, the 40-piece British Symphony Orchestra will be joined on stage by professional tribute band ABBA Revival on the Saturday night and by top Elvis impersonator Gordon Hendrix for the Sunday evening.

The concerts have been organised by Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad and Martin Lord, a former director at ITV.

“It’s a wonderful setting for some first-rate music,” said Nick. “Even those who are not fans of these artists will love these concerts.”

Gordon Hendrix won Stars in Their Eyes in 2005 as Elvis and has gone on to great success, including recording in Memphis.

Nick said: “His voice is so close to the original that Elvis’s management company has used him to record vocals for them. So it should be a real treat for any of the King’s fans.”

ABBA Revival have recently toured India and Eastern Europe are one of the top ABBA tributes in the world.

The Music of ABBA will be held on Saturday, August 5, with music starting from 6.45pm and gates opening at 5pm to give people a chance to settle down with their picnics. The Sunday Music of Elvis event sees an earlier start of 6.15pm with gates opening at 4pm.

The dates have been organised by CLGroup Companies and it is hoped they will become an annual event at Cromer and at Haughley Park in Suffolk.

Nick said: “These kind of open-air concerts have become extremely popular and we’re hoping for a party feel with some great music for all ages to enjoy.”

Music fans will be able to hear the likes of Elvis classics such as The Wonder of You with soothing strings and All Shook Up with punchy percussion as well as Dancing Queen from ABBA with the brass section of The British Symphony Orchestra.

“It’s well known that Elvis always dreamed of performing with a symphony orchestra and two ago Elvis Presley Enterprises embarked on just that with his back catalogue. This is a tribute to that and to the singer’s ongoing popularity,” said Nick.

THE BSO is made up from some of the UK’s most revered and talented musicians, who appear all over the UK playing the classics as well as new compositions.

Conductor Philip MacKenzie has recently worked with the Crimean State Symphony Orchestra as well as around the globe in Singapore, Bombay and South Africa. He recently conducted the Moscow TV and Radio State Orchestra and a chorus from the Kirov Opera in a sell-out performance in Moscow.

Cromer Hall owner Benjie Cabbell Manners said he was looking forward to welcoming people to Home Park. “I’m thrilled that the British Symphoney orchestra will be appearing at Cromer Hall,” he said.

Organisers have been working closely with North Norfolk District Council and local residents to look at planning, traffic and noise measures “The council could not have been more helpful with advice to help this concert run smoothly,” said Nick.

Just Regional, which publishes magazines along the coast, into the Broads and around Norwich, has teamed up with the organisers as media sponsor for the event.

Readers of the Just magzines can get a special price for tickets booked up until the end of March. These early-bird specials are priced at £30 instead of the normal price of £38 after that date. Book at www.cromerhallconcerts.com or call the ticket line on 0333 666 3366.

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.