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My Norwich

Citizen – Summer 2021

Published 4 June 2021

Message from the chief executive, Stephen Evans

As the election of city and county councillors for Sewell ward in Norwich had to be postponed until 17 June, rules governing the pre-election period means I’m stepping in for our leader, Councillor Alan Waters, on this occasion.

Keeping on the elections theme, the city council had a huge task on its hands in May when it organised and staged the counts for three elections this year – our own city council elections across 12 wards, the same areas for the county council elections and also the Norwich area for the Police and Crime Commissioner election.

To give you an idea of the scale of it here are some interesting stats – there were a total of 98 candidates running across the three elections, 101,739 people were eligible to vote in Norwich, a mammoth 559 different positions had to be worked and coordinated across the elections and only 42 people could be vote counters due to Covid restrictions – half of what it would normally be.

So it was long and arduous for many, but it was also a great source of pride for me to be part of a truly council-wide effort to successfully deliver all three elections.

Council officers will continue to work collaboratively and positively with elected councillors to carry on with important council business – rarely has the essential role that local government plays been quite so obvious and important as it has been over the past year. That important work will continue at pace as we proudly continue to serve our residents, businesses and the city as a whole.

Elections aside, this summer issue is full of updates and all kinds of helpful information on many of our other council services. So please read on – I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

Have a good summer.

News in brief

EU citizens living in Norwich

Are you an EU citizen living in Norwich? Or do you know someone who is?

We want all EU nationals living in the city to protect their rights by applying to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021 – even if you’ve been here for a long time.

More information is available on our Brexit web pages or to apply, visit the EU Settlement Scheme on the government's website.

Help with applications is available through Norfolk Citizens Advice or the Norfolk Community Law Service.

Norfolk Schools of Sanctuary: A Day of Welcome 2021

To mark Refugee Week (14 – 18 June), Norfolk Schools of Sanctuary are holding their annual ‘Day of Welcome’ on Friday 11 June. Schools and families will come together to send a clear message that for those in need of sanctuary, our communities are welcoming places. They hope to build an understanding of the experiences and contributions of refugees and asylum seekers.

Find out more and get involved on the Norfolk Schools of Sanctuary website.

Protecting the city’s quality of life

Two Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) for alcohol control and dog fouling have been renewed and are now in place in Norwich.

These orders were agreed by cabinet in April and are in place so residents, businesses and visitors can use and enjoy Norwich’s public spaces and be safe from antisocial behaviour.

For more information visit our PSPO webpage.

#LoveNorwichMarket

Norwich loves its market – a hub of unique, quirky and quality goods and services in the very heart of the city. Is there anything Norwich Market doesn’t have?

From mouth-watering contemporary street food and tasty treats, to well-loved classics, fine beers, wines, cheeses, teas, coffees, spices and other gourmet produce, Norwich Market is the place to be! Outside of tasty treats, you need look no further for new, pre- loved and vintage clothes and accessories, DIY, household and craft supplies, flowers and plants, jewellery, groceries and gifts.

You can even get your hair cut, or eyebrows shaped. It’s also the place to go if you need your clothes adjusted, your gadgets fixed or your shoes repaired.

A lot of the small independent businesses on the market have been hit hard by Covid restrictions, like many others.

A few were able to stay open throughout – working hard to keep the city stocked with essentials, come rain, shine and snow; while some had to close and wait patiently to resume trading. Others were able to offer click and collect and delivery services.

To all traders and customers, we want to say a massive thank you! You’re amazing and we’re so glad to have you back where you belong!

Getting social

Did you know that Norwich Market is on Facebook and Instagram? The accounts are looked after by Josh of Elementary Creative, whose family owns and runs Barry’s of Norwich on the market. He also created the market’s own website norwichmarket.net

Why not give the accounts a follow – as well as the very many individual businesses who have their own too? Don’t forget to tag them in your own posts and use the hashtags #NorwichMarket and #LoveNorwichMarket

As restrictions continue to ease and the city opens up more and more, there are lots of activities, events and offers the traders will be taking part in and often social media is the best way to keep up-to-date – as well as through trusty word-of-mouth, of course. 

The council’s finances

There’s no doubt, councils up and down the country face a challenge when it comes to finances, and the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact.

In spite of this, Norwich City Council has set a budget for this financial year (2021-22), which includes £70m of capital investment in homes, skills and vital city infrastructure.

Following a public consultation, which saw 2,605 people take part, the budget was approved in February of this year. We’d like to thank each and every person who took the time to respond and give their views on our approach to council tax levels, savings, efficiencies and ways to generate additional income.

External funding

A successful bid to central government means we also have £25m of Towns Deal funding to go towards investment in skills and infrastructure. Included in this work will be the creation of a digital hub, a digi-tech factory and a construction and engineering centre, to be delivered by City College Norwich. We will also be refurbishing The Halls and investing in the public realm as part of the Towns Fund investment over the next two years.

We’ve also received £1.5m of grants for environmental measures, including rolling out electric vehicle charging points and making council homes more energy efficient.

Savings – this year and beyond

Our budget also includes cost savings and income generation of £2m.

Despite the need to deliver savings, we have worked hard to protect frontline services again and avoid the need for service cuts.

However, the pressure on our finances will continue over the coming years, with a further £11.8m needing to be saved by 2025-26, due to the amount of funding provided to local councils being inadequate to keep pace with the demand for local services. We will continue our practice of prudent financial management, bidding for external funding and lobbying government to provide a fairer funding deal for all local authorities.

Debt advice

If you’re struggling to pay council tax, rent or any other money you owe us, let us know as soon as possible and we may be able to help, including offering budgeting support and payment plans. You can call us on 0344 980 3333.

There is also free specialist independent advice from a number of agencies in the city.

For more details visit our debt advice webpages

Your guide to recycling right at home

Across the city, households are recycling nearly 40 per cent of the waste they produce. This is a fantastic effort, but we’d love to see even more of the right materials going into your blue bin.

The Norfolk Waste Partnership, which Norwich is a member of, has launched its ‘Recycle Right’ campaign to help people boost recycling rates and reduce contamination.

It asks residents to follow these simple rules when recycling at home:

  • Clean – make sure containers are empty and rinsed
  • Dry – after rinsing, shake off excess water, as liquids can make other things in your blue bin soggy and not fit for recycling
  • Don’t bag it – all your recycling needs to go loose into your blue bin. Please don’t put it in carrier bags, bin bags or boxes, as they won’t be opened at the recycling centre and will end up with the general waste
  • Leave metal lids on glass jars and bottles
  • Don’t forget to recycle items from all rooms in your house (eg shampoo bottles from the bathroom)

So, what can you recycle?

Paper, including newspapers, white and coloured paper, greeting cards (without glitter, bows or 3D elements), junk mail, envelopes, directories and wrapping paper (without glitter or tape)
Cardboard such as cereal and egg boxes, tubes (not Pringles tubes), packaging and carrier trays and corrugated cardboard
Food and drink cartons
Aluminium and steel tins, cans and aerosols
Aluminium foil and trays including ones used for takeaway food
Glass bottles and jar-shaped food and drink containers
Plastic bottles such as those that contain drink and food, hygiene and beauty
products (including roller ball deodorants), cleaning products, cooking oil and medication
Plastic food tubs, pots and trays

It is important that you Recycle Right, so please make sure the following are NOT placed in your blue bin (if in doubt about whether something is recyclable or not, leave it out).

Nappies – the cardboard box your disposable nappies come in is recyclable, but in Norfolk, the nappies are not
Tissues and used kitchen wipes
Soft plastics including crisp packets, sweet wrappers, toothpaste tubes, carrier bags, food wrapping, cling film, shrink wrap, bubble wrap and baby and pet food pouches
Hard plastics – toys or broken garden furniture, plant pots and polystyrene
Sharps items
Glass cookware and ovenware, drinking glasses or ceramics
Cutlery, crockery, pots and pans

For full details on what happens to your recycling, why some items are not recyclable and why it is important to ‘Recycle Right’ visit the Norfolk Recycles website.

For more information about what you can recycle in Norwich, visit city council's recycling pages.

Keeping active

Over the last year or so, many people found keeping active a bit more of a challenge than usual.

For some, however, while there were stay at home orders in place, going on a daily walk became a cherished routine. Social media was awash with comments from people who said they were discovering or re-discovering their local open spaces, parks, or natural areas including meandering on Mousehold Heath or Marston Marshes, wandering around Waterloo or Wensum parks or even sauntering in Earlham and Rosary cemeteries. Now, as many restrictions have been lifted and further easing is planned in late June, as outlined in the government’s roadmap, we wanted to feature some of our facilities that might help anyone who’s wanting to get fitter or just keep moving. There are too many to list them all, so here are just some of the highlights.

Tennis

There are 11 hard courts across Eaton, Harford and Waterloo parks. Managed by Norwich Parks Tennis, annual household membership is just £35, giving you access to high quality facilities and an affordable coaching programme all year round. Find out more or join on the Norwich Parks Tennis website.

We’ll be investing in tennis facilities at Lakenham and Heigham parks and adding the courts into the Norwich Parks Tennis family this year; a project which has received a significant external funding boost.

Riverside Leisure Centre

Based at Wherry Road, this centre, with its fantastic gym and swimming pools, is managed by Places Leisure and is open for household and individual bookings. Group bookings and classes – including Swim England accredited swimming lessons – will return when restrictions are eased further.

Norwich was one of 266 local authorities to receive a share of £100m of funding from Sport England’s National Leisure Recovery Fund to support the reopening.

Norman Centre

On Bignold Road in the heart of Mile Cross, the Norman Centre is far from your usual leisure centre. With a real focus on community, it boasts itself as a centre ‘for everyone’ with activities ranging from art classes to martial arts or after-school clubs for kids, to exercise sessions tailored to senior visitors. Many are free or low cost.

This is a place to meet up with friends, new and old, and you’ll always get a cheery welcome from our staff. You can find out more about the activities on offer by visiting the centre’s Facebook page – just search ‘Norman Centre’. Or you can give the team a call on 01603 408140 to find the perfect activity for you, whether that’s indoor bowls, Egyptian belly dancing, arts and crafts or circuits.

Remember: there’s a smaller programme of activities while restrictions are in place, but we hope to have our full schedule when they lift later in June as detailed in the government’s roadmap.

New hobbies

There have been various articles in the local and national media about people starting new activities, or returning to ones they did as a child. Roller skating is one of those, with communities like Norwich Roller Girls popping up on social media to share tips on things like the best skates to buy, and how to skate backwards. Our skate facilities at Eaton Park are often featured as a backdrop to videos of tips and tricks.

Our growing community

Some people have been getting their exercise in while gardening or working their allotment. Our allotment sites have been open throughout the pandemic  – recognised as an important food source for growers, as well as the added benefits of providing a good workout.

To find out more about our sites or to apply for a plot visit our allotment web pages.

#RunWithPride

Run with pride 2021

We can’t wait to see the photos from this month’s Run with Pride, organised by Exercising People in Communities (Epic) Norfolk – a run, or walk, to raise funds for LGBTQ+ organisations and projects.

Don’t forget to make your run or walk colourful, with your brightest clothes and face paint and post with the #RunWithPride and tag @RunWithPrideUK if posting on Facebook and Instagram.

Working together to #ProtectNorwich

Months of hard work took place behind the scenes so that after lockdown, Norwich was ready to welcome people back in a Covid-secure way.

On the day that many of the city’s businesses were allowed to reopen their doors, just under 50,000 people returned to the centre of Norwich. That was compared to just over 9,000 people the week before.

The city council’s environmental health and public protection teams worked with businesses to provide support and guidance on putting safety measures in place. And the council’s Covid-19 support officers continued to work in the city centre, reassuring members of the public and offering advice.

Christopher Gooding, environmental health manager at the city council, said: “It was great to see so many businesses reopen their doors and people return to the city.

“We know this has been a really difficult year and the feedback we have had from businesses is that no one wants to see another lockdown.

“We’d like to thank all the businesses that have been putting safety measures in place and all the members of the public, who have been following the guidance by wearing face coverings, where needed, regularly washing or sanitising their hands and keeping space between themselves and others.

“Everyone has been playing their part to help protect Norwich.”

The city council also issued a mixture of temporary and long-term licences, to enable many of the city’s pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars to serve customers outdoors before they were able to trade indoors.

Throughout the pandemic, government has assigned funding to local councils to draw up and administer grant schemes to help struggling businesses; either those who had to shut during lockdowns, or others which found their trade had been seriously affected.

To date, the city council has paid almost £60m to around 3,000 businesses. Details of grants still open for application can be found on our business grants pages.

One business owner, Richard of Richard Jarmy Photography said: “You are all amazing! Without these grants, my business would’ve drastically suffered, so I thank you all for looking out for us! I honestly cannot thank you enough!”

For more information on Covid-19 guidance, including advice and support for businesses, visit our Covid-19 pages.

Building for the city’s future

A really important, yet frequently unseen area of council work, is its effort to maintain a pipeline of sites suitable for development.

This helps us deliver the things that most of us hold very dear indeed because it results in homes being built which some of us end up living in and in other cases it leads to jobs being created which we end up being employed to do.

In its simplest form, a pipeline of sites is just that – staff at the city council are continually on the look-out for land within Norwich which is suitable for building homes, premises for business purposes and various other neighbourhood amenities and facilities.

The complexity of what sits behind it to make it all happen, understandably, isn’t something most of us are even aware of as new developments pop up around us on a fairly frequent basis and it all looks pretty effortless.

But there’s a large and concentrated effort to continually identify a steady stream of sites which, subject to jumping through all the necessary hoops, can then be taken forward for development.

When the site is council-owned or managed (eg the Three Score site in Bowthorpe and the RIBA award winning housing development on Goldsmith Street), it must get all the necessary conditions, including planning permission to name just one, to progress onto the stage of actually building new homes.

A council spokesperson said: “We remain deeply committed to finding suitable sites to take forward for development so we can continue our proud century-long legacy of providing council homes. Finding suitable sites also allows us to build properties for private sale and rent as well as work closely with housing associations to provide affordable housing for the city and our residents.” One of the large scale programmes the council is currently involved with stems from the successful bid made to the government for a share of Towns Fund money which identifies ways to regenerate the city, boost businesses and improve infrastructure.

A landmark project within this includes our plans to transform the former industrial area of east Norwich into a highly sustainable quarter for the city.

This involves producing a masterplan for the area – which is being steered by the East Norwich Partnership (ENP) – a public-private body composed of a number of key stakeholders.

As part of the engagement strategy for the project we will be consulting partners, stakeholders and local residents over the coming months.

For more information visit the Norwich Town Deal pages.

Election news across the city and county

We coordinated three elections in May – not an easy task at the best of times, but ensuring they were covid-secure certainly added to the challenge. However, all went smoothly thanks to the huge effort of the election team, as well as the hard work of the 500 plus extra staff, such as poll clerks and counters.

Your city council

  • City electorate: 101,739
  • Total number of votes cast: 36,862
  • Overall percentage turnout: 36.2 per cent

We will not have a complete picture of the political make-up of the council until 17 June when the Sewell election will take place – this was postponed following the sad death of one of the candidates, Evelyn Collishaw, who was standing for election for both city and county in Sewell.

The current political make-up after the 6 May election, is Labour 26 seats, Green 9 seats, Liberal Democrats 3 seats. Labour has a majority of the seats and therefore has overall control.

Councillors elected by ward

Bowthorpe ward
Sue Sands, Labour Party

Catton Grove ward
Mike Stonard, Labour and Co-operative Party

Crome ward
Adam Giles, Labour Party

Eaton ward
James Wright, Liberal Democrats

Lakenham ward
Rachel Everett, Labour Party

Mancroft ward
Martin Schmierer, The Green Party

Mile Cross ward
Vaughan Thomas, Labour Party

Nelson ward
Lucy Galvin, The Green Party

Thorpe Hamlet
Ash Haynes, The Green Party

Town Close
Ian Stutely, Labour Party

University ward
Emma Hampton, Labour Party

Wensum ward
Martin Peek, Labour and Co-operative Party

Councillors make up the city council’s decision-making body, representing the people of Norwich and promoting the interests of the local community.

To find out more about our councillors and how to contact them go to our councillors pages.     

Results 2021

  • Green party (9 seats)
  • Labour (26 seats)
  • Liberal Democrats (3 seats)
  • Vacancy (1 seat)

The election for the remaining seat in Sewell ward will be held on Thursday 17 June 2021.

Norfolk County Council

Election results 2021

  • County electorate: 700,113
  • Total number of votes cast: 234,804
  • Overall percentage turnout: 33.54 per cent

Seats won by parties:

  • Conservative - 58
  • Labour - 11
  • Liberal Democrats - 8
  • Green - 3
  • Independent – 3

Police and Crime Commissioner

Giles Orpen-Smellie (Conservative) was announced as Norfolk’s new PCC following the election. For more information on the election and role go to the Norfolk PCC website.

You can find out more about the elections and results on our Elections 2021 pages.

Helping you get online

We all know that providing appointment based contact is far more expensive than online or by phone, and it’s not always convenient for people juggling other commitments. For years, work has been done to make sure those who are able to, and prefer the convenience of digital services, can access these with a few clicks. And this has long been an important priority, so we can make sure our time and resources are channelled to those who can’t get online. With constant advances in technology and changes to customer needs, we’re always looking at new ways to streamline even more of our services.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, this has been more important than ever, where in-person options have had to be limited even further and vulnerable customers may have needed more intense support. Two services we have recently made digital are as follows.

Paperless parking permits

Our vehicle-specific parking permits are now virtual, a switch from paper. This means the process for applying and receiving a permit has been cut dramatically and there is no longer the environmental cost of producing a paper copy. You can even check if a vehicle has a valid permit if you suspect it’s parking illegally and wish to report it.

Virtual council tax bills

You can now manage your council tax account online – check balances, view correspondence and update contact details. Make the switch by going to www.norwich.gov.uk/MyCouncilTax  

Extra support

It’s not just accessing council services we’ve been helping with. Through Good Things Foundation and its Everyone Connected project, we received 10 tablets and 29 smartphones. We were able to provide these devices, along with training on how to use them, to people who needed them to apply for jobs or keep in touch with friends and family – perhaps even more important than ever while people have felt more isolated or when social interactions have been restricted.

Case study

Loraine didn’t have access to the internet and was missing out on opportunities including accessing local services, speaking with her therapist online and keeping in touch with her friends and family.

Our digital inclusion team was able to give Loraine a new smartphone and a skills support session to download and create her WhatsApp account and learn how to make video calls.

Loraine said: “I didn’t have any internet skills until the council gave me the phone. It has been great as I could video call my daughter and see my granddaughters. It made my day seeing them open their presents at Christmas.

“I’ve also been in contact with my best friend and my son has called me, as my granddaughter wanted to see me – so I video called him, too!

“Thank you so much for your help. I’ve asked my daughter to show me how else I can use the phone and what else I can do online. Now I can keep in touch with all my children and family.”

Housing for all

We believe that everyone should have access to a home which suits their circumstances and needs. New council houses and private builds; helping people with complex lives find suitable accommodation; and supporting private sector tenants are just some of the ways we can achieve this.

Cracking down on rogue landlords

We recently became one of the first councils in the country to use new legislation to successfully prosecute a rogue city landlord.

As a housing authority for the city, our ambition is that tenants in the private rented sector have a safe, decent and affordable home, but when our team investigated complaints from tenants living in privately rented accommodation near Prince of Wales Road – we found appalling conditions.

Extreme mould and dangerous electrics were just some of the issues, but the landlord didn’t follow our instructions to bring his property up to acceptable standards.

Using new legislation under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, we pursued two cases against the landlord, Nick Sutton, director of Faiths Lane Apartments, which allowed us to fine him personally, rather than just his company, so that he was not able to simply fold his business and get away with his activity.

The case went to court earlier this year and the landlord pleaded guilty to all charges. He also now has a criminal conviction.

Cases like these are extremely time consuming and a huge amount of work, however we believe that no-one should get away with treating tenants in this way and hope it will serve as a warning to other landlords.

Find out more about our private sector work and how we can help.   

Homes for prison leavers

We’ve recently worked with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on the Foundations project which provides supported housing for prison leavers.

Partnering with Broadland Housing Association, we have so far funded ten units of accommodation. Match-funding from Norfolk and Suffolk Probation Service has helped fund the support side of the project, which is being delivered by Pathways’ partner, St Martins – they help people settle in, as well as begin to rebuild crime-free lives outside of prison.

Reducing the number of people leaving prison who end up sleeping rough is one of the aims in our rough sleeping strategy. In addition, this project contributes to reducing crime and those affected by it in the city, as well as supporting people with multiple and complex needs – another one of our priorities.

Building new homes

Building more homes and regenerating dilapidated parts of the city is a vital aspect of our longer-term recovery from Covid.

The council’s wholly-owned property company – Norwich Regeneration Ltd (NRL) – continues to build high quality, energy efficient homes for private sale and rent which generates income for the council. The current build at Rayne Park in Bowthorpe continues to take shape and the vast majority of the 74 new homes there have now been sold. After our CEO, Stephen Evans, visited earlier this year he said: “I was really impressed to see the changes made since my first visit in February last year. What was then a building site is now shaping up to be a high-quality new community for the city.”

Alongside the development of homes for private sale and rent, our programme of council house building is also progressing well.

Current plans will see around two hundred new homes added to our existing housing stock across developments at Threescore in Bowthorpe, Argyle Street and the former Mile Cross Depot site. Read more about this in the article Building for the city’s future. 

Do you have a property to rent?

Let us take all the hassle out of renting your property. Simply sign up to our private sector leasing scheme and let us do the leg work for you.

  • Guaranteed rent, whether or not your property is occupied
  • Repairs and maintenance taken care of
  • Low management fee
  • Expert advice and information

Plus, if you have an empty property to rent that needs some work, we could offer an interest free loan.

Taking more control over our services

We are now enjoying more direct control of how some key services are delivered, after they came back under council control in April.

In recent years, our environmental and facilities management services have been delivered in a joint venture arrangement with Norse, but we have formed a new company called Norwich City Services Ltd (NCSL), which will incorporate all of this work going forward.

This is the first step of an ambitious programme to bring a number of key areas back into more direct council control – our building maintenance and repairs service will join NCSL in 2022, while our property services will rejoin City Hall directly in the same year. 

Hannah Leys, managing director of NCSL, said: “We are very proud to have started on the journey of delivering these important frontline services for residents of Norwich.

“This is the result of a huge amount of hard work and dedication, and we look forward to continuing our journey to bringing more services on board next year.”

Save over £200 on your energy bills

The energy switching scheme, the Big Switch and Save, has now become the Norfolk Energy Switch!

We have a brand new name but the same great energy deals.

Did you know? Wholesale energy prices have risen 33 per cent since October. The price cap on a standard tariff went up by over 9 per cent in April. The Norfolk Energy Switch offers 100 per cent renewable electricity at amazing prices – you could save over £200 on your tariff.
 
We work with switching specialists iChoosr to get you great deals – and registration is completely free. Visit www.BigCommunitySwitch.co.uk/norfolk for your free energy offer!

Or, if you would prefer to get your bills in the post call us on 01603 989578. We can also answer any questions you might have about the scheme.

Getting a great deal on your energy is quick, easy and free!

Green spaces need your help!

Do you ever take a walk in your local area, and pass some green space or a communal garden that needs some love? Imagine if you could be involved in making the most of it!

We want to give you the opportunity to take the lead, being involved in your community and creating closer local bonds while doing so. Whether you’ve chatted to a few neighbours about adopting green space where you live, or you want to help out in your own way, do get in touch to find out more.

Any project you would like to take the lead on – from a single raised planter to a large resident-led community project – is something we want to hear about. There is also an outdoor project network which helps people to share skills, learning and resources in this regard.

If you’re interested in exploring opportunities around your local green spaces, please contact community@norwich.gov.uk  

Improving community safety for our residents

Funding secured for measures to tackle burglary and antisocial behaviour in specific areas of Norwich has helped pay for the installation of new alley gates, secure door entry systems and upgraded shed doors.

As part of the Safer Neighbourhoods Initiative (SNI), Norwich City Council, in partnership with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN), was granted more than £200,000 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund (SSF).

This has so far paid for hi-spec secure door entry systems, installed in Midland Walk and Clifton Close, and sheds to be upgraded with new Secured by Design doors to protect against break-ins.

Funding from the SSF and the city council’s SNI community fund, has paid for nine new alley gates in areas including Constitution Hill and The Shrublands.

The Home Office set guidance for the use of the SSF, limiting it to certain areas of the city, but the community fund can support initiatives across the whole city.

The fund can pay for alley gates on non-adopted highways, as well as a range of other safety improvements.

Norwich resident Sarah Sellers, who had alley gates installed as part of the scheme, said: “They look great and make the houses feel more safe and secure. We are all so grateful – thank you!”

The Safer Neighbourhoods Initiative community fund is available this year to fund alley gates and other measures to combat crime and antisocial behaviour.

Visit our community fund pages for more information and to apply.

Meet your new Lord Mayor and Sheriff!

The city’s Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich have taken on their civic roles after being ceremonially sworn in during May.

Due to circumstances caused by the Covid pandemic, the former incumbents Councillor Vaughan Thomas (Lord Mayor) and Dr Marian Prinsley (Sheriff) had served in their respective roles for two years, a departure from the usual yearly engagement.

After serving their extended term with distinction, they have now moved on from the roles and the council is hugely grateful for their time and dedication. Norwich city councillor Kevin Maguire will be the Lord Mayor for the 2021-22 civic year and Caroline Jarrold is Sheriff. 

Both donned their robes and chains of office for the first time when they were officially elected at a covid-secure mayor-making ceremony at The Halls on 24 May.

The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Kevin Maguire said: “To take up this esteemed role is a moment of immense personal pride for me, and I would like to thank my predecessor for continuing for longer than the typical timeframe.

“It will be a privilege to begin serving in this position, as we emerge from the challenges of the past year.”

The Sheriff of Norwich, Caroline Jarrold said: “It is a great honour to have been asked to take on the role of Sheriff of Norwich for the coming year, following on from the active and dedicated tenure of my predecessor.

“I am looking forward to fulfilling the duties of this historic position and hope to be able to see local organisations in action and participate in civic events, when the easing of restrictions allows.”

Want to make sure you have the best chance of having your planning application approved?

Our pre-application advice service is available to help you through the process!

Whether you want guidance on:

  • planning history £108
  • listed buildings £180
  • change of use £192
  • extensions £180

we’re here to offer information to give your application the greatest opportunity of success.

For a full list of services and charges. Please visit our planning pages.

We HEAR you: campaign to tackle domestic abuse 

Last year the HEAR campaign was launched and organisations across Norfolk were asked to sign up to help any employees who might be experiencing domestic abuse.

The campaign calls on employers to break the silence around domestic abuse and provide the right support on this important issue by making internal policy changes to help their staff. Employers play a crucial role in helping to prevent domestic abuse where it impacts on the workplace.

So far around 40 public and private sector organisations, representing nearly 25,000 employees, have joined the campaign. Along with the city council, this includes Norwich City Football Club, Norfolk Constabulary and the UEA. The campaign now looks set to be extended to other parts of the country as well.

Please encourage your organisation (large or small) to sign up to help support those facing domestic abuse.

For more information visit the Hear campaign pages on Norfolk County Council's website. 

HEAR stands for:

  • HELP – provide access to specialist organisations
  • EDUCATE – ensure training is provided to support colleagues
  • AWARENESS – aware of domestic abuse and not tolerate it in any form
  • RESPOND – ensure the right policies and processes are in place to respond to domestic abuse reports.

Tourist Information Centre closure

The Norwich Tourist Information Centre (TIC) located at The Forum has officially closed its doors to the public.

The number of people using the service has been reducing over the years with more information than ever before being available online. When the centre was able to reopen last summer there was a very large decrease in people accessing information from the team in person. Closing the TIC will create a saving for the council of around £110,000.

VisitNorwich, the destination management organisation for the city, will continue to provide incredible local information about places to see, stay, eat and drink as well as the best ways to explore our fine city.

Summertime is here again!

FREE events in Norwich city centre this summer season…

Head Out, Not Home

11 July – 5 September, Every Sunday afternoon
Enjoy a great atmosphere in Norwich with free live music and performance across the city.

GoGoDiscover

12 July – 11 September

Dippy on Tour

13 July – 30 October
Look out for Break’s GoGoDiscover trail of 20 huge hand-painted T.rex sculptures throughout the city, and head to Norwich Cathedral for ‘Dippy on Tour’: the Natural History Museum’s famous Diplodocus cast on display in one of our most iconic landmarks.

City Food Trail

12 July – 22 August
Enjoy limited edition food, drinks, and special offers throughout Norwich as our favourite restaurants offer dinosaur-themed menus!

Please note all information is correct at the time of publishing. Some events may be affected by changing Covid-19 regulations – please check visitnorwich.co.uk ahead of visiting!

For other events and more information go to the VisitNorwich website.