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My Norwich

Citizen - Summer 2022

Published 1 June 2022

Contents

Message from the leader, Alan Waters

The issue of Citizen drops on doormats soon after the local election and the Annual General Meeting (AGM). This means we have some first time councillors getting familiar with their new roles and bringing a fresh pair of eyes to the work of City Hall.

The AGM elects the Lord Mayor and the Sheriff. It also agrees places on committees, allocated on the basis of the number of seats held by each political group. The nine cabinet positions goes to the largest party on the council which forms the administration.

All councillors, across the three parties represented on the council – Labour, Green and Liberal Democrats share one thing in common: they represent residents in each of the 13 wards across the city. This includes supporting residents, involvement with community groups and acting as advocates for their area.

Councillors also sit on a range of committees that have a city wide remit – like planning and licensing. Scrutiny and audit committees deal with, among other things, different aspects of council performance. Cabinet members each have areas of responsibility, covering major policy areas affecting the city and the functioning of the council.

Which brings me to the theme of my column. It’s not uncommon to hear, particularly during an election campaign, that all the council does is ‘empty the bins’. Emptying the bins is, of course, a vital service.

It’s also a very visible service so it’s not surprising it’s picked on when people query what else they get from the council.

I hope that, having described the many and varied roles that councillors play, it’s a little clearer that our work is far wider than just emptying bins.

Have an enjoyable summer and look out for fun events, including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the Lord Mayor’s Celebration.


News in brief

Cashless parking

At the time of going to print’ cashless parking should be available at all of the city council’s pay and display car parks.

Up until now, drivers have had to use cash to pay for parking. But following the successful introduction of cashless parking at Barn Road car park, contactless payment should now be an option at all council controlled pay and display car parks in the city.

Contactless payment options are also available throughout all the council’s surface car parks as well the multi-storey car parks.

Councillor Mike Stonard, the city council’s cabinet member with responsibility for parking, said: “We need to make sure that we continually adapt our services to suit the way that residents and visitors want to access them.

“In as far as our car parks go, that’s meant introducing contactless payment options throughout our car parks so there’s increased flexibility with how people choose to pay.”

Eco-friendly heating system in City Hall

The city council is taking a step closer to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030 following the installation of a renewable heating system at City Hall.

The work to introduce the air source heat pump has included replacing the entire pipework system, electrical controls and mechanical plant.

The pump is fully funded by a grant of £625,000 from the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

Funding available for alley gates

Residents across the city are feeling safer thanks to alley gates provided by the city council. And due to the success of the scheme, it’s been extended for 12 months.

The scheme’s criteria has been widened so residents can also apply for repairs to existing gates, even if they were not provided by the council.

Since the scheme was initiated in 2021, almost 100 households have benefitted from the installation of new gates.

Applications are invited from residents and community groups. The work must benefit more than one household or property. If it relates to crime or anti-social behaviour, the issue must also have been discussed with their local police safer neighbourhoods’ team before an application is made.

If you’d like to bid for funding, visit www.norwich.gov.uk/CommunityFund to read through the guidance documents and complete an expression of interest form.


Net zero waste for Norwich Market

Norwich Market has recently become the first ‘Net zero waste’ market in the country.

This initiative, being led by the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID), will allow traders to tackle the issue of waste through reducing, reusing, recycling, replacing and remanufacturing (upcycling) various items and equipment used on stalls. One example is turning coffee grounds into body soap and scrubs.
 
All stallholders have been working alongside a specialist to create a bespoke action plan to achieve their goal – inspired partly by consumer demand and the wider drive towards becoming a more sustainability organisation as well as a more sustainable city.

Councillor Adam Giles, the city council’s cabinet member with responsibility for Norwich Market said: “This is a hugely ambitious step for the market, and a vital one in taking extra responsibility for the environmental impact the market has.

“Everyone involved has been positive about embracing a more sustainable approach which has been great to see.”

The move to net zero waste at the market will support the city’s target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2045 and builds on an ongoing EU project – Upcycle Your Waste.


Taking steps to improve our climate

Work towards making the city more sustainable is being supported by the Norwich Climate Commission, a new group set up under the Norwich 2040 City Vision partnership.

The commission is an independent advisory body launched in late 2021 to support the aspiration of reaching citywide net zero carbon emissions by 2045.

A group of 10 commissioners from across the public, private and third sectors in Norwich make up the commission, which is jointly chaired by Louise Rawsthorne, the city council’s executive director of community services, and Asher Minns, executive director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, based at the University of East Anglia.

The commission meets once a month, with a shared responsibility to generate awareness, innovate, and develop best practice solutions in support of the city’s environmental targets. The commission is producing a prioritised work plan to coordinate action and investment to significantly reduce carbon emissions, improve the environment and promote the development of the local green economy.

Louise said: “The environmental agenda is a hugely important topic for the city and for everyone who lives in, works in, or visits Norwich.

“We’re starting from a good position as Norwich’s emissions are well below the national average, but we know there’s a lot to do to reach net zero by 2045.
 
“Our hugely knowledgeable and passionate commissioners will oversee the work needed to make sure that Norwich becomes a net-zero city whilst being healthy, equitable, and resilient for our residents.”

Find out more on the Norwich Climate Commission website.


A welcoming community where you can connect with others

Bringing our communities together has been at the heart of the work we’ve been doing in recent months with an organisation called ‘Shoebox Community Hub’. 

As part of that work, community connectors have been recruited by the Shoebox from neighbourhoods around the city.

The role of the connectors is to have conversations with other local residents to discover what matters to them, what they are passionate about and what they would like to do with others to help them flourish in community life.

Councillor Alan Waters, leader of the city council, said: “It’s crucial for the city that communities are as connected as possible and feel enabled to shape their own neighbourhoods.

“Working in partnership with the Shoebox can give the council great insights into what matters to citizens, which will allow us to help each other achieve our goals.”

Tom Gaskin, chief executive of The Shoebox Enterprises CIC, which runs the Shoebox, said: “We’re excited to be working in partnership with the city council to deliver the community connector programme. 

“We’ve recruited a fantastic team of connectors who care deeply about their communities. It’s been brilliant to see them develop through the roles and enjoy discovering more about what goes on in their communities.”

Feedback from the conversations are reflected in a new website called ‘Get Talking Norwich’ which the council recently launched. 

In areas where connectors are currently focused (Mile Cross, North Earlham and the city centre), residents can also get involved in the conversation and see what others are talking about.

If you’d like to help shape your community and our city, please take a moment to complete a one-off registration and join in the conversations at gettalking.norwich.gov.uk

Meet the connectors: www.TheShoeBox.org.uk/connectors or 01603 850309.


A home for everyone

Everyone deserves the opportunity to live in a home that meets their needs, and the council is dedicated to building new properties and establishing effective delivery partnerships to do this. Keep reading on to find out more about a few projects the council is currently working on.

Ketts Hill

Work is underway to build seven one-bed homes on Ketts Hill which are due to be completed later this year. These are being built by Broadland Housing Association and will become homes for those who have experienced rough sleeping. Once housed, tenants will also benefit from specialist support to prevent them from returning to the streets.

In addition to providing the land for the new homes, the council worked alongside Broadland Housing to bid for the money that has funded the construction from a government scheme called the Rough Sleeper Accommodation Programme.

This development builds on the success of the scheme at Lakenfields and is an example of the ‘recovery’ strand of the council’s rough sleeping strategy.

New building phase at Threescore 

Progress is also being made on the Bowthorpe development, currently called Threescore Phase 3.

The majority of the 76 properties will be used as council owned social housing, with some to be sold on the open market. They will be built using a fabric first approach to provide eco-efficient homes.

These new homes are being delivered by the city council’s property development company, Norwich Regeneration Company, and are due to be completed by next spring.

Swanton Road

Thirteen new pitches are being built by Broadland Housing on Swanton Road for Gypsy, Romany and traveller families. These will be offered to existing residents of the nearby site to allow for the older site to be refurbished to modern standards.

In addition to providing the land for the new homes, the council supported the bid to Homes England that has part-funded the construction.

This development helps to meet the identified need for accommodation for Gypsy, Romany and traveller families across Greater Norwich.

Orwell housing partnership 

Much-needed affordable housing is also set to be delivered in Norwich through a new five- year partnership between the council and Orwell Housing.

The collaboration means council-owned land will be gifted to Orwell Housing for development and will move the council towards the affordable homes target as set out by the Greater Norwich Housing Needs Assessment.

All homes built within this agreement will be occupied by applicants from the council’s housing register (Home Options).


Norwich City Council Election May 2022

Thanks to everyone that voted in our local election in May. Overall turnout across the city was 36.4% (this includes person and postal votes), with the highest ward turnout prize going to Eaton with 55.3%.

Following the election, Labour remains the party in power at Norwich City Council, having the majority of the council’s 39 seats. The only political change was in Sewell ward where the Green Party gained a seat from Labour. This means the overall political composition of Norwich City Council after the vote is:

  • Labour (25 councillors)
  • Green (11) 
  • Liberal Democrats (3)

Bowthorpe ward
Mike Sands, Labour
Turnout: 29.1%

Catton Grove ward
Paul Kendrick, Labour
Turnout: 29.5%

Crome ward
Claire Kidman, Labour
Turnout: 31.7%

Eaton ward
Caroline Ackroyd, Liberal Democrats
Turnout: 55.3%

Lakenham ward
Gurpreet Padda, Labour
Turnout: 21.1%

Mancroft ward
Jamie Osborn, Green
Turnout: 32.1%

Mile Cross ward
Vivien Thomas, Labour
Turnout: 25.2%

Nelson ward
Julie Young, Green
Turnout: 49.4%

Sewell ward
Alex Catt, Green
Turnout: 40.7%

Thorpe Hamlet ward
Ben Price, Green
Turnout: 37.7%

Town Close ward
Cate Oliver, Labour
Turnout: 43.4%

University ward
Matthew Fulton-McAlister
Labour and Co-operative
Turnout: 29.8%

Wensum ward
Kevin Maguire, Labour
Turnout: 32.2%

To see all 39 serving councillors and find out how to contact them, visit our Councillors web page.

Thanks to everyone who shared their #DogsAtPollingStations photos!


A celebration fit for a queen

The people of Norwich are cordially invited to don their finery and take to the streets as the Lord Mayor’s Celebration is set to return in July. Our 2022 event has the theme of ‘Kings and Queens’ to mark the special Jubilee year.

Plan your weekend

Friday 1 July

Chapelfield Gardens

  • Funfair – 5 to 9pm
  • Street food – 5 to 9pm
  • Paint party – 7 to 8pm

Waterloo Park
We Will Stand, Crude Apache Theatre – 7:30 to 9pm

Saturday 2 July

Lord Mayor’s Procession

Look out for the new route and start time!

  • Starts at 3pm

Route: Marsh car park - Brazengate - All Saints Green - Westlegate - Red Lion Street - Castle Meadow - Upper King Street - Tombland - Cathedral

Chapelfield Gardens

  • Maui Waui Stage and bar – Midday to 10pm
  • Funfair – Midday to 10:30pm
  • Street food – Midday to 10pm

Westlegate
Lost River Stage – 12:30 to 3pm and 4:30 to 6:30pm

The Forum Stage, Millennium Plain

  • Community Showcase – Midday to 3pm
  • The Garage – 4:30 to 5:30pm
  • Wild Paths – 6 to 10:15pm

Chantry Car Park
Chantry Skatepark – Midday to 10pm

Gentleman’s Walk, London Street, theatre Street
Street performance and music – Midday to 10pm

Red Lion Street/Rampant Horse Street
Pirate Party – 6:30 to 10pm

St Gregory’s Green
Camerados Public Living Room – Midday to 6pm

Millennium Plain/St Peters Street
Finale – 10:30pm

Sunday 3 July

Chapelfield Gardens
Funfair – 11am to 4pm

St Benedict’s Street and surrounding area
Lanes Summer Fayre – 11am to 4pm

Lady Julian Bridge
Great Norwich Duck Race – 2pm

Cow Tower
We Will Stand, Crude Apache – 2:30 to 4pm

All times are subject to change. Please keep your eye on our website and social media for the latest information.


Feed your caddy - sign up today

*Did you know the city council provides a free weekly food waste collection service to the majority of Norwich residents?

If you sign up for the service on our website, we’ll send you a smaller caddy for your kitchen, a larger one to go outside for collection and liners to make it easier to transfer the waste from one to the other.

You can then put the larger caddy out with your waste/ recycling bin for collection.

What can go in my food waste caddy?

We all want to waste less food, but if you do have any of the following, instead of putting it in your rubbish bin, you can put in your food caddy to be recycled:

  • Leftovers from your meals
  • Eggs – including shells
  • All dairy products eg cheese
  • Fruit and vegetables – raw and cooked
  • Bread, cakes and other baked goods
  • Meat – raw and cooked, including fat and bones
  • Fish and seafood – raw and cooked, including bones and shells
  • Rice, pasta and beans
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds
  • Cooking oil, lard and other fats – large quantities of cooking oil need to be put in a plastic bottle by the side of the food caddy
  • Pet food

What happens to my food waste?

Norwich food waste is taken to an anaerobic digestion plant run by a company called Boigen in Hertfordshire to be recycled. There, the food waste is put into giant sealed, oxygen-free tanks where it is gradually broken down to produce biogas and biofertilizer.

The biogas produced is fed back into the national grid to power our homes and other buildings. The biofertilizer is used on farmland to enrich the soil.

What can I use to line my caddy? 

You are encouraged to reuse existing plastic bags to line your kitchen caddy, such as bread bags, which would otherwise be thrown away.

If not, you can use compostable bags, which the council will replace. Tie a bag to your outdoor caddy when it goes out for collection and our crews will leave a new roll as soon as they are able to.

How can I reduce my food waste?

Love Food Hate Waste and Food Savvy Norfolk have lots of tips on how to reduce the amount of food you waste (and save money at the same time). You can visit their websites or follow them on social media to find out more.

How do I sign up for the food waste collection?

Please visit www.norwich.gov.uk/ReplacementBin to sign up for the service.

* Please note, we are not able to provide the food waste collection service to some residents in private flats.


Making Norwich the very best it can be

We think Norwich  is a pretty fantastic and special place. It is a city which is consistently rated as one of the safest and greenest in the UK, is home to two leading universities and a world-renowned research park and more recently an aviation academy and impressive digi-tech teaching centre. 

It’s also a superb shopping and dining destination, with an eclectic mix of independent shops, bars, restaurants, cafés and an award-winning market. 

But we know there are also challenges to life in the city and Covid and the current cost of living crisis have made things more difficult for some. As a local council we have  an important role to play  in delivering key services within the city, but also working with partners to help ensure residents live well and businesses can flourish. 

Read on to see some of  the things we are doing to make life better and invest in Norwich.

Investing in homes 

We will be spending £38.9m this year to upgrade existing council properties and build new homes.

A new partnership will see us gifting land to Orwell Housing to help us move towards the target of 254 new affordable homes to be built each year. We aim to invest in existing homes by installing 289 new kitchens and 510 new bathrooms. Adding 790 new heating and 110 solar panel systems, and solid wall insulation in 45 homes should help households heat their homes more efficiently.

With our Affordable Warmth Grant we also aim to help people in an estimated 65 private sector homes, those with the lowest energy- efficiency, by funding replacement boilers, radiator upgrades and double-glazing installations.

We’re currently paying out council tax rebates, part of the government’s Energy Bills Rebate initiative, to households in bands A to D and have developed a scheme for people who don’t qualify for this scheme but need support with rising energy bills. Visit our Energy bills rebate page.

Fair wages

We are proud to be a  Living Wage authority. This means, alongside our wholly-owned company Norwich City Services Ltd, we not only guarantee to pay our workers a fair wage, but we are also committed to working towards getting Norwich accredited as a Living Wage city, making low pay a thing of the past.

Norwich Good Economy Commission 

We are confident Norwich has all the ingredients it needs to have a thriving vibrant economy – bursting with talent, innovation  and entrepreneurship – and what would help to tap into it even more, is greater collaboration between key organisations and businesses. 

A community to come together and look at the local need – based on evidence and research – and creating projects and opportunities. This is why the Norwich Good Economy Commission (Norwich GEC) – a collaboration between the city council, UEA, City College Norwich, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and the New Anglia LEP – was established in 2020.

Find out more about Norwich GEC and its current work on the Norwich Good Economy Commission website.

If you’d like to read more about our plans, including our aims and priorities, check out our Corporate Plan 2022-26. It sets out the framework for the decisions we make, including how we spend our budget

Help and debt advice

If you’re struggling to pay your council tax, council rent or any other money you owe us, let us know as soon as possible and  we may be able to help.

Our aim is to ensure residents receive the support they need to keep them secure in their homes. We are keen to work with people to help them to pay their debts, offering budgeting support and payment plans based on their individual circumstances.

We can help council tenants with budgeting and money advice, provide benefits for those who qualify and help people access free specialist independent advice for debt, benefit and accommodation issues. 

Visit our Debt Advice web pages for details of service providers or the Money Helper website.


Citizen survey update

We’d like to say a very big thank you to all of our wonderful Citizen readers who took the time to fill in our recent survey about this magazine.

Following the closure of the survey on 30 April, we were thrilled to discover that almost 1,000 people responded. That’s pretty amazing!

We’re now in the process of analysing all the feedback you gave us to find out what you really think about the magazine.

This will help us make some informed decisions on how you’d like us to communicate with you in the future, including how you prefer to find out about the services we provide to residents.

After we’ve collated all the feedback, we’ll let you know the results of the survey in a future issue of the magazine.

Thanks again to everyone who responded!


We stand with Ukraine

The city council stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Along with colleagues and communities, we are working to welcome people to Norwich, provide support and, as Councillor Alan Waters, leader of the council said: “Engage with government to make sure it meets its vital responsibility in ensuring the process to get refugees over and settled is as smooth as possible.”

The spirit that individuals, organisations, community groups and businesses has shown has been remarkable.

To find out more about how you can donate, other action you can take or for advice and support visit the city and county council websites.


Turning empty properties into vital homes

Families fleeing Afghanistan have been resettled in the city thanks to swift help from the council’s Let NCC service, which works with landlords to provide affordable accommodation for people who may not be eligible for social housing.

To make this possible, the council took part in the national Afghan Locally Employed Staff Relocation Scheme, which offers relocation to anyone facing intimidation or threat to life because of their employment by the UK government. 

The Let NCC team worked closely with Norfolk County Council and the Home Office  to match families in most need with the properties available. Some landlords offered their properties specifically to help refugees and others being housed through resettlement schemes. Due to the urgency of the evacuations from Afghanistan, some properties were turned around with as little as two-weeks’ notice and handed to the county council in readiness for the new residents.

Mohammad, an Afghan interpreter, said: “My family are very happy living in Norwich and feel we have settled well into the local community.

“We are using local Halal shops and going to the Mosque. Our children are happy in the local school and are receiving good reports from their teachers.  

“Norwich has been a good move for us, but obviously a huge change from our home in Afghanistan. We are meeting with other families who have been resettled here to help improve our English skills and get to know more people.” 

Could you be part of Let NCC?

Let NCC is a property management scheme run by  the city council which helps to break the cycle of homelessness. Property owners lease their empty properties to the  council and we let them to people who are threatened with homelessness. There are over 300 properties currently being managed by the scheme. 

Benefits include:

  • guaranteed rent, whether or not your property is occupied
  • optional repairs and maintenance service using Let NCC contractor
  • no set up fee or monthly management fee
  • low admin fee for any work carried out on owner’s behalf
  • expert advice and information

Find out more on our LetNCC web page.


Celebrating our city and our civic leaders

Usually, around this time of year, we would be announcing who the new Lord Mayor and Sheriff are. However, we are delighted to say Lord Mayor Councillor Dr Kevin Maguire and Sheriff Caroline Jarrold will be serving another term.

And, they have asked Home-Start Norfolk to continue to act civic charity for this coming year. This is in recognition of  the impact Covid had on the last civic year, limiting the number and scale of events and opportunities for fundraising. 

You may have already seen the article on page 10 where we look ahead to the Lord Mayor’s Celebration in July. Outside of this, the civic diary will be quickly filled with functions and events, and other appointments they keep to promote the city, celebrate the work of communities and raise awareness of the amazing difference Home-Start Norfolk makes to the lives of families.

Here we also look at some of the highlights of the last few months.

Symbols of peace

Seeds from a Ginkgo tree, which survived the 1945 atomic bombing of Japan, have been given to the city council to create a lasting symbol of peace. 

As part of the international Mayors for Peace programme, which the city council is a member of, seeds from hibaku-jumoku or ‘survivor’ trees have been gifted to cities across the world, including Norwich. The idea is for the seeds to be germinated and the trees planted in a location where people can gather to nurture them and reflect on peace. 

In Norwich, one of the Ginkgo trees will be planted in Chapelfield Gardens – with another at Easton College where the seeds have been germinated. The trees should be planted some time next year. 

Lord Mayor of Norwich, Cllr Dr Kevin Maguire, said: “Norwich prides itself on being a diverse city and a welcoming city, where people have lived together in harmony – from the ‘strangers’ who arrived here in the sixteenth century, to those fleeing conflict in more recent years. 

“Alongside residents who are opening up their homes, the city council is providing help and support to people coming to Norwich from Ukraine and I think the aim of world peace is something that is at the forefront of everyone’s minds.”

Working with its tree specialist, the city council asked the horticulture department at Easton College to germinate the seeds. 

The aim is to involve the students in the project, both to give them the experience of working with these unique seeds and so they could learn the history of the trees and the Mayors for Peace programme. 

Horticulture lecturer at Easton College, Dawn Marjoram, said: “It was a real honour to be entrusted with the germination of these precious seeds which have so much significance.

“It has been a great experience for our horticulture students to learn about the process of growing Ginkgo Biloba trees, and to engage with the important history behind the seedlings that we are now nurturing.” 

Freedom of the city

At a special meeting of council in the spring, the honour of Freedom of the City was awarded to “trailblazer” The  Very Reverend Dr Jane Hedges, the first woman to have been appointed Dean of Norwich Cathedral in its 900 year history. The Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Odesa were awarded the same honor in a demonstration  of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and in recognition of their citizens’ role in “upholding the spirit of democracy.”

A special gift from the Black History Month Committee

Last autumn the Lord Mayor was invited to officially open the events for Norwich and Norfolk’s events to mark Black History Month.

Following this, the Norwich and Norfolk Black History Month Committee commissioned a portrait of the Lord Mayor – in which he is accompanied by Carly and Evie Gorton – daughters of Anna Mudeka, who together are a family well-known in Norfolk for the charitable and cultural contribution they make.

Artist Danny Keen, who is also on the committee, said: “The portrait symbolises the welcome that the city of Norwich extended to the black community over the years. 

“Most of the members of the BHM Committee are immigrants. I am a Jamaican, others are from Cuba, Rwanda, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana  and many other countries. 

“Some of us arrived in straitened circumstances, but we all agree that Norwich is a place where we were allowed to thrive and make contributions to the life and culture of the  city in diverse ways.”

Giving children the best start in life

Don’t forget you can find out more about the amazing work Home-Start Norfolk does in Norwich and beyond and keep an eye out for fundraising events.

You can also make a quick and easy donation by mobile phone:

  • To DONATE £3, text CIVICCHARITY 3 TO 70085
  • To DONATE £5, text CIVICCHARITY 5 TO 70085
  • To DONATE £10, text CIVICCHARITY 10 TO 70085

Donations can be made between £1 and £20 by changing the number at the end of the text message.


Health and wellbeing volunteers needed

Could you help someone looking for a new hobby or needing a hand with setting up a water meter? 

If so, you could be a volunteer for Interact, a new service for adults whose health and wellbeing has suffered because of issues linked with their living arrangements.

Interact has been set up by Norwich City Council, Voluntary Norfolk, One Norwich Practices, Age UK Norwich and Norfolk Citizens Advice Bureau to help people whose wellbeing is suffering as a result of something linked to their housing circumstances.  People eligible for the scheme are referred by an organisation  or medical professional.  

A variety of roles are available, from helping with clearing, sorting and setting up utilities to befriending and assisting individuals to find groups or activities they might like to take part in.
If you’re friendly, approachable, and would like to make a difference in someone else’s life, we’d love to hear from you. 

To have a chat about the range of opportunities available, please get in touch with Interact volunteer co-ordinator Sophie Atherton at sophieatherton@norwich.gov.uk or visit our Interact web page.


Town Deal update

Next steps for Hay Hill

Thanks to everyone who took part in our Hay Hill survey. We had over 400 responses with more than 80 per cent supportive of the overall vision for the area.

Responses will be presented to the Town Deal Board in June – which represents key businesses and institutions across the city – and feed into their decision about how to move forward with the project.

Keep an eye on our website to hear more about the next chapter of this special city centre space at www.norwich.gov.uk/HayHill

Releasing our city’s potential

In all cities you will find brownfield sites – these are areas of land which have been previously built on, but for whatever reason, are not currently in use. There are various brownfield sites in Norwich, many of which have become derelict or eyesores – some attracting anti-social behaviour.

As part of our Norwich Town Deal, we have established a Revolving Fund – money we put aside to help ‘unlock’ these sites so we can use them for a better purpose. Rather than leaving these sites unloved and unused, we want to explore their potential to deliver modern homes and workspaces and help grow our economy. A report is being finalised which identifies sites across the city which could benefit from the Revolving Fund. Keep up to date on this and other projects on our Town Deal web pages.

Norwich City Council was awarded a ‘Town Deal’ of £25m at the end of 2020 from the government’s Towns’ Fund to deliver eight key projects – all of which will drive regeneration alongside skills and infrastructure and jobs for the city and region.


More services brought under council's wing

An important project to bring key services under more direct council control has reached a successful conclusion in recent weeks.

This follows the recent transfer of property services colleagues when they joined the city council on 1 April after delivering the services via a joint venture arrangement between the council and Norse.

Meanwhile, the workforce which provides the council’s building repairs and maintenance service joined its wholly company, Norwich City Services Ltd (NCSL) on the same date.

NCSL’s building repairs and maintenance workforce have now joined their environmental services colleagues who began work with the company last April following their transfer from Norwich Norse Environmental – another joint venture arrangement between the city council and Norse.

Councillor Alan Waters, leader of the city council, said: “Our residents and the services we provide were always our priority throughout.

“Our aspiration to bring these workforces back into the council and into the company began in earnest about three years ago. All that planning and hard work has now paid off, with all employees from each of the three joint venture arrangements we had with Norse now transferred and successfully delivering services for the people of Norwich.”

Hannah Leys, managing director of NCSL said: “I have been delighted to see how well our new employees have settled into life at the company. Teams have hit the ground running, and with real enthusiasm from the outset.

“We had a very successful first year delivering the city’s environmental services, and a great deal of preparation was carried out to ensure we were ready to take on this new challenge as well.

“Our focus is on continuing to deliver all work in a timely manner and to a high standard.”


Norwich Pitch and Kick

Take advantage of the two fantastic 18-hole pitch and kick courses at Eaton Park and Mousehold Heath this summer. No need to book, just turn up and play!

Footgolf

Played with a football instead of a golf ball and club, strike your way to victory by getting your ball in the hole with as few kicks as possible!

Open three days per week at each location.

Pitch and putt

Open all week from 9am until last round of the day or earlier on footgolf days.

Last rounds of the day vary, visit www.norwich.gov.uk/LastRound for times.

Prices from £7.04 per adult and £3.52 for under 16s per round.

Family ticket and Go4Less discount.

For opening days and times, visit our Pitch and Kick pages.


Work continues to get planning applications back on track

New planning applications submitted to the city council which include ‘overnight stays’ are currently subject to a delay following guidance from Natural England about water pollution.

The city council, along with other councils in Norfolk and many across the UK, received a letter from Natural England in March, asking them to quickly adopt a more rigorous approach to assess the effects of changes in water quality in order to achieve something called ‘nutrient neutrality’.

As a result we are currently unable to grant planning permission where a development is likely to add nutrient pollution to water until we can identify how to mitigate any impacts.

There are also implications for the Greater Norwich Local Plan, which may result in delays to adoption and additional consultation.

We are working hard with other councils, Anglian Water, Natural England and the Environment Agency to deliver a mitigation strategy that will allow planning permissions to be granted. In the meantime we’re encouraging people to continue to submit applications and to seek pre- application advice when needed. You will, however, be asked to agree an extension to the determination time of your application.

Applications affected by this include, but are not limited, to those for houses, flats and student accommodation.

Applications which do not involve overnight stays are not affected and will continue to move through the planning system. Our planning applications committee will still meet, but the frequency and length of meetings may be reduced. The city council has written directly to anyone whose application is affected.

For up-to-date information and advice about the issue of nutrient neutrality and planning applications to the council, please visit our dedicated Nutrient Neutrality web pages.

About nutrient neutrality

The importance of achieving nutrient neutrality stems from evidence that large quantities of nitrogen and phosphate nutrients entering water systems cause excessive growth of algae, a process called ‘eutrophication’. This reduces the oxygen content of water which increases the difficulty of survival for aquatic species; subsequently removing a food source for protected species.

The sources of nutrients generally include sewage treatment works, septic tanks, livestock, arable farming and industrial processes. Where sites are already in unfavourable (poor) condition, extra wastewater from new developments can make matters worse.

Which areas are affected?

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Ramsar sites (wetlands of international importance) where plans for new houses and developments featuring ‘overnight stays’ would need planning consent. This means the whole of the city council’s administrative area is affected.


City's popular swimming pool gets new kit to help people with decreased mobility

An even greater number of people are now able to use one of the city’s most popular swimming pools, after the addition of a new piece of equipment to increase accessibility.

In recent years, many visitors to Riverside Leisure Centre who have decreased mobility have been using a pool hoist to gain access to the pool. However, this has now been replaced with a new, state-of-the-art pool pod.

The new pool pod is a user- controlled lift, which can be operated independently. It is designed to allow access for anyone who would struggle or find it inappropriate to access the pool via the steps.

Feedback on the pool pod has already been incredibly positive, with users speaking of its ease of use and extra dignity it affords them with entering or exiting the pool.

Councillor Adam Giles, the city council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “The new pool pod is a really important piece of equipment for the centre to be able to offer customers who love to swim. We’re hugely supportive of any measures put in place which help to make such a popular venue accessible to more people.”

Riverside Leisure Centre is managed by Places Leisure, on behalf of Norwich City Council. The partnership tackles many of the council’s health and wellbeing and strategic priorities whilst maintaining the popular public facility.

Lawrence Cheese, general manager at Riverside Leisure Centre said: “The pool pod offers a greater level of independence for people living with a disability and increased access for the less mobile or those recovering from injury. This piece of equipment allows them to enjoy the many benefits of swimming and gets them active quickly and comfortably.

“We hope this will encourage more members of our community to develop a love of swimming without access to the pool being a barrier.”

FAQs and a list of opening times and available activities can be found on the Norwich page on the Places Leisure website.


Head Out Not Home

FREE entertainment

24 July – 4 September 2022
Sunday afternoons from 12:45pm – 4:45pm

Six locations across Norwich:

  • Gentleman’s Walk
  • St Gregory’s Green
  • Millennium Plain
  • Westlegate
  • Tombland
  • Riverside

View the full line up on: www.visitnorwich.co.uk

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