North Norfolk Labour Party believes that the results of a public transport survey in north Norfolk highlights the detrimental effect that the cuts to bus subsidies have had in our district. A joint survey carried out by the local District Council, which focuses on Aylsham, North Walsham and Fakenham as well as a number of villages, highlighted dissatisfaction in public transport here. A number of the parish councils consulted called on our councils to fund more buses. North Norfolk Labour Party believes the unsatisfactory results of this survey highlights that our County Council and government have made the wrong choice to cut bus subsidies. One local bus provider described the attitude of government as “pro-motorist” for stripping bus subsidies and halting investment. The local District and County Council is now being recommended to spend money promoting local bus services, and using funds to support community bus replacements. Next month the National Express 496 coach service to London will no longer stop at Holt, Sheringham, or Cromer from 2nd July as a result of government funding cuts. Students and elderly residents had described the service as a ‘lifeline’. Denise Burke, Chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “This survey confirms what we already knew about the state of public transport in north Norfolk. Our County and District Council have made north Norfolk a ‘no go’ area with the cuts to bus subsidies which means many services are being axed and many remaining evening services here are running at a loss to the…
North Norfolk Labour Party joined local users of Twitter today to call on Norfolk County Council to rethink their plans to cut verges in north Norfolk. Users were able to follow and join in the chat using the #vergeschat hashtag and feedback so far has suggested that users are keen to see Norfolk County Council rethink their plans for verges by taking further into account local wildlife and safety. The County Council has argued that special interest sites are the exception, but users have called on them to focus on highlighting safety risk areas instead. The local Labour Party is now calling for a more sensitive approach from the council. David Spencer, a North Norfolk Labour representative in North Walsham, said: “The County Council really needs to strike the right balance in grass verge cutting so that it benefits both the safety of drivers and our wildlife. When it comes to safety the County Council has been too slow to act in cutting the grass in these areas. For example cutting the grass around important road signs, on junctions, and on our main roads. As the feedback has suggested, there also needs to be a more sensitive approach in rural areas taking into consideration the biodiversity in north Norfolk. Leaving these areas alone is of benefit to us all”.
North Norfolk Labour Party has claimed that the Conservatives at North Norfolk District Council “must try harder” after they reflected on their first year in power. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, stated: “Our analysis for the Conservatives after 12 months in power is that they ‘must try harder’. They boast about freezing council tax but overall hard-pressed families are being hit by increased car park charges in our tourist towns, and increased fares on fewer bus services as a result of reduced bus subsidies at county level. They are set to hit our taxi drivers with increased charges too. Meanwhile, they claim to champion renewable energy, but their handling of the wind turbine cabling planning application has contradicted this. We will be following with interest their plans for new affordable and social housing as well as job creation in the district as this was a manifesto priority for us last year”.
North Norfolk Labour Party is calling on North Norfolk District Council to do all it can to retain the Cromer Crab Company brand locally to ensure that the name remains in the community. Last October party officers joined talks that were held looking into Protected Geographical Status for the Cromer Crab name, but last week Young’s offered an “olive branch” by showing willingness to work to keep the name in Cromer. It was confirmed today by Young’s that they have held discussions with the District Council on this topic, but the District Council’s statement earlier this week only focused on the sale of the site. Now North Norfolk Labour Party is calling on the District Council to commit themselves to ensuring the name is kept in the town. Scott Eastwood, Labour’s prospective County Council candidate for Cromer, said: “The announcement about the closure of the Cromer Crab factory has been disappointing for the town, but Young’s have offered an olive branch with the news that they are willing to work with the District Council to keep the name in the community. We are asking for commitment from the District Council that they will work to ‘Keep It Cromer’ with the internationally renowned name, and that they will involve interested in parties in these discussions. If the bid to keep the name here is successful this could provide the jobs and growth we need in our town after the devastating blow we had last week”.
North Norfolk Labour Party will be having a jumble with a ‘royal twist’ this weekend as it celebrates the diamond jubilee with a ‘jumbilee’. Items for sale at Saturday’s jumbilee will include books, clothes, garden tools, and household items, and there will be a royal twist with their raffle, teas, coffees, and cakes. Proceeds from the event, taking place at the Cromer Community Hall on Garden Street between 9.30am and 2.30pm, will go to funding the activities of the local Labour group. Pam Cowburn, one of the social events officers for North Norfolk Labour, said: “The jumbilee will be a great opportunity to kick off the jubilee weekend and there will be a jumble sale, cakes, teas and coffees, and a raffle. We hope that people will pop along to support our event, and we hope they will leave with a bargain too!”
North Norfolk Labour Party has expressed shock and disappointment at the decision by Young’s to close the Cromer Crab Company by August – taking the Cromer brand to Grimsby and making over 100 people redundant. The local Labour party had campaigned strongly on keeping the Cromer Crab Company open as it employs 5% of townspeople, and as the crab is iconic to the seaside town. Last September the party set up the “Keep It Cromer” campaign and petition which collected support from Delia Smith, Stephen Fry, Russell Kane, and Matthew Pinsent as well as a number of other celebrities. A petition which had collected 7,000 names was handed in to Young’s by the then party chairman Tim Bartlett and MEP Richard Howitt. The news that the factory will move production to Grimsby has been seen as an unwelcome one by the party. Greg Hayman, the Mayor of Cromer, said: “This is deeply disappointing news. We believed Young’s were listening when we handed in the ‘Keep It Cromer’ petition and we had hoped they recognised the importance Cromer plays in their business. My heart goes out to those that are being made unemployed at such a difficult time because of this announcement. What is particularly sad is that this news comes just days after the Sheringham and Cromer Crab Festival which celebrated the importance of the industry in our town”. Denise Burke, the chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, added: “The closure of such a significant business in Cromer is very…
North Norfolk Labour Party has warned that a decision by the cabinet at North Norfolk District Council to increase fees for cabbies will make north Norfolk a “no go” area. Local cabbies had warned the cabinet at District Council that the decision will not only make it more expensive for drivers in the area but that it will put off many of those already struggling. The local Labour Party has argued that the decision, set to be approved by full council next week, will only weaken local transport links even further. Scott Eastwood, the prospective Labour County Council candidate for Cromer, said: “I recently tabled a motion as a local town councillor against these proposals from the District Council as I believe it will seriously discourage our cabbies that are already struggling in this tough economic climate. This decision by cabinet follows a whole string of measures from the Conservatives to make north Norfolk a “no go” area, for example, increasing car park fees and cutting bus subsidies which have led to fewer bus services and increased bus fares. Our council should be protecting rural transport links, instead they appear to be the biggest threat to them”.
North Norfolk’s elderly and disabled living in sheltered housing could be at risk after Norfolk County Council chose to terminate a contract with the provider of north Norfolk’s housing wardens six months early. Tory-run Norfolk County Council has been branded “uncaring” by North Norfolk Labour Party after it decided to pull the contract with north Norfolk’s Victory Housing. It follows the County Council’s attempts to force a 37% cut in funding which could have meant up to half of north Norfolk’s housing officers being made redundant. Consequently, the contract for sheltered housing officers (SHOs), commonly known as wardens, was pulled six months early. The local Labour group has claimed that our elderly and disabled are now at risk as a result of uncertainty about the future of SHOs – particularly as future providers will have to deal with a significant cut in funding. Denise Burke, chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, stated: “In a predominantly elderly area like north Norfolk our Sheltered Housing Officers are a lifeline to elderly residents living in sheltered housing, making sure they are safe in their homes 24 hours a day. They offer the reassurance for those elderly people who have sold their homes to move into a new area. Norfolk County Council has left our elderly anxious and worried after terminating the contract for SHOs six months early, and forcing a cut in funding which will, inevitably, mean fewer officers. We ask Norfolk County Council to rethink this uncaring decision, particularly as it has…
North Norfolk Labour Party are surprised to learn that MP Norman Lamb has declared war on the caravan tax announced in this year’s budget – months after voting in support of it in the House of Commons. Yesterday (17th May 2012) Mr Lamb announced he has arranged a meeting with the Treasury to raise concerns about the tax on static caravans, which is designed to end the VAT exemption for those purchases. North Norfolk Labour Party is surprised to hear Mr Lamb is now against the plan, particularly as he voted in support of the budget proposal in April, alongside a whole range of damaging measures including the Granny Tax and Pasty Tax. MPs at the time said the changes would “level the playing field” in tourism. Denise Burke, Chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “The caravan industry is a vital part of tourism here in north Norfolk and the caravan tax would have a devastating effect for this sector in north Norfolk. While we welcome Norman Lamb’s new support for the campaign against the caravan tax we question why, if he has had these concerns, he has voted in support of these budget measures in the House of Commons. This is becoming a similar occurrence with our MP, who said he was initially against the government’s Health Bill, but continued to vote in favour of it in every stage of Parliament”.
North Norfolk Labour Party is disappointed to learn that National Express will be withdrawing the 496 coach service from north Norfolk to London this summer. Andrew Cleaves, managing director of UK Coach, today revealed that cutbacks in government funding will mean the 496 service to and from London will no longer go through Cromer, East Runton, West Runton, Sheringham, High Kelling or Holt. North Norfolk Labour Party has expressed their disappointment at the decision, particularly as a large proportion of passengers are elderly. Denise Burke, the chair of North Norfolk Labour Party, said: “Collectively the Conservatives across our government and councils have made north Norfolk a ‘no go zone’. Whether it is the increased charges for taxi drivers, increased charges at our car parks, or increased bus fares due to cuts to bus subsidies. Now we learn that the lifeline for those travelling to and from London by coach is being withdrawn.” “The Coalition should be protecting our rural transport links. Instead they appear to be the biggest threat.”