Roger Smith’s Monthly Update March 2013

Every month, Roger Smith, member of Norfolk County Council (NCC) publishes a newsletter for people in this area.  Here’s the newsletter for March 2013.

About Roger

Roger Smith  is the Member of Norfolk County Council (NCC) for Henstead Division covering Bixley, Bramerton, Caistor St Edmund, Framingham Earl, Framingham Pigot, Kirby Bedon, Poringland, Stoke Holy Cross, Surlingham, Trowse with Newton.  You can contact Roger directly (Telephone: 01508 538225   e-mail: roger.smith@norfolk.gov.uk)

CURRENT ISSUES AND CONCERNS: 11th March 2013.  

  1. Norfolk County Council has agreed to freeze the Authority’s share of Council Tax for an unprecedented third year running and announced new moves to boost its income in the wake of continuing reductions in government grant. ‘Enterprising Norfolk’ is a vision to make the Council more self reliant and to identify new income streams to help protect services. Norfolk’s share of the Council Tax bill at Band “D” is unchanged at £1,145.07.
  2. Bus passengers are set to benefit from a Norfolk County Council and Government initiative that will make Norfolk the first rural county to establish smart card technology. For passengers the smart card would replace an ordinary ticket. Norwich Park and Ride will be one of the first services to use the new smart cards planned in early summer.
  3.  Work continues on the Norfolk’s Better Broad project. More than 80 percent of Norfolk will be able to access superfast broadband services by autumn 2015.
  4. Responsibility for providing Public Health services with a budget of £30m transfers from the NHS to the County Council on 1 April 2013. See the Profile for local health Issues.
  5. In response to the current horse meat incident Norfolk Trading Standards has already liaised with the FSA, who are the government policy lead, and was involved in taking the first raft of samples of processed beef products for analysis. They also carried out a schedule of focussed inspections at meat importers, meat storage and processing plants. They are actively involved in advising Norfolk processing and storage plants in Norfolk as well as working with ESPO/NORSE who provide food for schools and social care.
  6. Norfolk County Council is one of the top performing organisations among over 2,000 nationally participating in the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme. The Council is on course to save over £1.8m a year on energy bills through its efficiency programme, and the latest CRC public league tables place the authority in the top 2% of all CRC participants. Norfolk County Council is ranked 25th out of 2,097 participants.
  7. More than 40 students from seven Norfolk schools, including Framingham Earl High School and one from Norway learned about water management and carbon reduction during a recent three day Water and Enterprise residential course at Holt Hall, organised by Norfolk County Council in partnership with the University of East Anglia (UEA).
  8. The County Council is looking at the feasibility of introducing more part-time 20mph zones (which are self enforcing) outside schools as part of setting local speed limits.
  9. As drivers get older, some may become less confident on the road or have specific concerns about aspects of their driving. Norfolk County Council is committed to supporting older drivers through its Guidance for Older Driver programme (GOLD). GOLD can help to reassure drivers and refresh their skills and increase confidence.
  10. A staff team from NorseCare, the Council’s own care home provider, put on a great show with their version of the classic children’s story (see video Goldilocks) that they took on a tour of the county to entertain care home residents, their friends and family. They recently performed at Poringland Community Centre to an audience from local care homes.
  11. The South Norfolk Council litter pick event wants to work with community groups to reduce litter this Spring and to improve the appearance of the local area.
  12. Two closed landfill sites at Bergh Apton and Strumpshaw had a total of 500 trees planted on them recently by Norfolk County Council and TCV (The Conservation Volunteers)
  13. Landowner action to clear a ditch has stopped further flooding at Cut Loke, Surlingham.
  14. I am very pleased to report that vacancies for local authority appointed School Governors for Framingham Earl High School & Poringland Primary School have now been filled.

My Web Pageis where an electronic copy of this & the previous newsletter can be found.

 

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