Roger Smith’s Monthly Update May 2013

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



  1. No party has overall control of Norfolk County Council after elections last week in which all 84 seats were contested. The results mean no party has overall control and hence all policy formulation and decisions are on hold for the time being. The Conservatives are the largest party; UKIP is the main opposition party and Labour the third biggest party on the Council. Party group meetings will be held over the next few days to determine a way ahead. I am thankful to have been reelected for another term. Voter turnout was 35.5% in Henstead Division compared with a County average of 32.1%. Nevertheless it’s a shame nearly two thirds of people didn’t vote in this election.
  2. A new Norfolk Record Office exhibition ‘The Story of Norfolk’s Parish Registers’ celebrating Norfolk’s wealth of parish registers opened today at The Archive Centre, Norwich, adjacent to County Hall. Churches have been keeping parish registers since 1538. They are a treasure trove of information for people tracing their family trees, etc.
  3. Many of the county’s cultural services will be celebrating Adult Learners’ Week in May by giving people even more opportunities to learn. Norfolk County Council libraries, the county’s joint museums service and the Norfolk Record Office in Norwich are all holding special events and activities to coincide with national Adult Learners’ Week, which this year will be held from Saturday, 18 to Friday, 24 May.
  4. Schools across Norfolk are being encouraged to apply for more than 1400 free child places so youngsters can go behind the scenes of some of the world’s greatest paintings. Booking has opened for Norfolk schools to reserve their place on one of 72 fully subsidised school visits available during 12 Wednesdays in May, June, July and September to take part in the educational programme, From Russia with Love: The Return of the Houghton Masters. Each tour can accommodate 20 pupils and three teachers per school. It will support the exciting new exhibition, Houghton Revisited, which is open to the public from 17 May to 29 September.
  5. With Spring having finally sprung and temperatures having increased, Norfolk County Council has revealed that it carried out a record amount of gritting to keep Norfolk’s roads moving during one of the worst winters to have hit the county. Over 41,000 tonnes of salt was used on Norfolk’s roads during 159 gritting actions, which see a number of gritters out across all of, or parts of, the county. Based on a five-year average, the council usually carries out around 97 actions during the winter season. As will be the case for many councils across the country, this record level of gritting is likely to cost the council around £5m in total, which is significantly higher than the anticipated annual budget of £3.8m.
  6. A number of businesses across the county have been caught selling alcohol to people underage in a joint operation between Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards and Norfolk Constabulary’s Licensing Unit. Test Purchasers who are 14-16 year olds assist Norfolk Trading Standards to check that businesses aren’t selling age restricted goods to underage people. In total, 22 premises were targeted over three days.
  7. I am seeking clarification of how the County Council, as Highways Authority, views the two recent planning applications by David Wilson Homes for housing developments to the west of Norwich Road, Poringland, otherwise known as Heath Farm, Poringland. They are outline 2013/0505 (100 dwellings north of Stoke Road) & full 2013/0506 (150 dwellings south of Caistor Lane). Residents are justifiably concerned about traffic issues.
  8. The Caistor Roman Town Family Fun Day is arranged for 25 May 11am to 4pm.
  9. The promised footway resurfacing on the Poringland side of the Norwich Road, opposite FEHS, has been scheduled for work on 29th July, lasting four weeks, with stop/go signals.


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