Police and Crime Action Day

Jamie Athill, the Conservative Candidate for the new Police and Crime Commissioner role in Norfolk and Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North spearhead the Police and Crime Action Day in Norwich

Keith Simpson MP plants 700th Tree

Keith Simpson MP today commemorated the completion of a development of 22 new eco-friendly homes in a stunning woodland setting in Drayton.  The houses were designed by Conran & Partners to maximise their sustainability and make the most of the beautiful setting. Abel Homes have also donated a large part of the woodland back to the people of Drayton for their own use. Mr Simpson said that “This is a great example of what can be achieved when a local house builder works with local planners to create something very special.  Not only are the homes here both stunning and sustainable, but Abel Homes has created a valuable community woodland which will be to the benefit of the environment, wildlife and local people.  It goes to show that it is possible to create much-needed new homes while at the same time respecting and indeed improving the local environment.” 

Broadland council plans £1m fund for first-time buyers

The authority’s cabinet has approved a £1m move to intervene in the housing market and help house buyers with up to 20% of their mortgage, meaning home buyers will only have to provide a five per cent deposit towards a home of their own.If the plans are passed by the council on December 1, an eighth of the council’s reserve funds will be handed to Lloyds TSB who will distribute the cash to prospective home owners.In return Broadland could earn £200,000 in interest on the £1m over the next five years.Prospective buyers will have to live in Broadland already to apply for the scheme and the money can not be used to buy new homes.The scheme, which is expected to help 40 buyers, would apply to homes costing up to £160,000.Broadland is posed to become the first council in Norfolk to take part in the national Local Authority Mortgage Scheme (LAMS).The council’s portfolio holder for communities and housing, councillor Jo Cottingham, said: “There are a lot of families, couples and other first time buyers who can afford to meet monthly mortgage repayments, but have no chance of scraping together the initial deposit, which could typically be £40,000 on a £160,000 property.“It means they are all too frequently destined to be trapped in rented accommodation, that first step into property ownership simply beyond their means.“This scheme finally gives them the chance of owning their own bricks and mortar without having to find what for most is an impossible sum to save up.”

Government Minister visits Aylsham High School

Mark Prisk MP, Minister for Business and Enterprise visited Aylsham High School to find out how Young Chamber UK is stimulating economic development by bringing young people and businesses closer together.During his visit he met with local Councillors Ian Graham and Jo Cottingham along with students who are taking part in a business marketplace. He then went on to chair an enterprise discussion forum of young entrepreneurs, enterprise teachers and YCUK Chief Executive Kevin Smith.To support enterprise in schools, the Government is enhancing online resources for teachers at the 'Enterprise Village' website and promoting recruitment of 2,500 local enterprise champions through the 'Inspiring the Future' website.

Keith Simpson MP celebrates with Aylsham Football Club

Footballers in Aylsham were celebrating recently with Keith Simpson MP following a £5000 Grow the Game grant awarded by the Football Foundation, the country's largest sports charity.
The funding boost will allow Aylsham FC to promote and encourage youth football in the town as well as the surrounding community.
The main beneficiaries of the grant will be both boys and girls wanting to play football within a safe and structured environment and volunteers/parents wishing to gain recognised FA coaching qualifications

Grants lifeline for Homemakers charity

A Norfolk charity that provides furniture to some of the county’s most needy people has been thrown a £7000 “lifeline” by Broadland District Council.
Norfolk Homemakers was awarded the grant to plug a revenue gap in its finances, and will allow the charity to continue its growing workload among people hit hardest by the recession.
The charity operates by collecting unwanted furniture and furnishings, refurbishing them and selling them on to people at rock bottom prices.
Its client base rose to more than 3500 last year, and included families experiencing financial hardship, the unemployed, migrant workers, ex-prisoners and people being discharged from residential care.
Homemakers chairman Tom Gilbert said: “The grant from Broadland is vitally important to us – a lifeline. We have to keep our prices down because we are trying to help people with very little money, and that means we do not bring in enough income to cover our expenditure. This grant puts us in a position to break even and therefore able to continue our work.”
Broadland council leader Andrew Proctor said: “Norfolk Homemakers plays a key role in allowing some of the most vulnerable individuals and families in the area to live independently and with dignity. The council is proud to have been able to step in and help keep the service viable.”
Homemakers, which operates from a warehouse on Aylsham Way, Aylsham Road, Norwich, received no other local authority funding this year. The service prevented an estimated 38 tonnes of waste material having to go to landfill, and also cuts down on fly-tipping.To donate furniture to Norfolk Homemakers, or to use its services, contact on 01603 487444, by e-mail on or via the charity’s website,