News

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 info@norfolkhomemakers.org or via the charity’s website, www.norfolkhomemakers.org.   

Parish Council moor up for potential success at national environmental awards

Cantley Parish Council has been short listed for a prestigious national award at the 2011 Biffaward Awards, a ceremony which recognises the people that transform their communities through Biffaward funded projects. Selected from over 80 hopeful applicants, the parish council will now compete against five other organisations from across the country, for the chance to be named winner of the ‘Outdoor Recreation’ category, and receive prize money totalling £2,000. The award is to recognise the council’s tireless work on the ‘Cantley Staithe Project’, which saw the creation of an attractive new community space with moorings, fishing facilities and one of only two slipways on the River Yare. The group received £50,000 in funding from Biffaward to complete the project, for which Rural Action east helped them to obtain.

Broadland District Council aids after-school clubs

Broadland District Council has stepped in to ensure the survival of popular after-school clubs run by a Norfolk high school.Spiralling fuel costs and budget cuts had threatened a 'late bus' school-to-home transport service run by Acle High School and regularly used by more than 300 pupils attending out-of-hours clubs or exam revision classes.Now a £2430 lifeline from the council means the transport home service is secure for another academic year, starting this September.  Funding for the transport has also been provided by the school's parent-teacher association and from the school's own budget.

Broadland District Council Grants Aid to Improve Community Life

More than 30 projects and organisations working to improve the quality of life in Broadland are to receive grant aid worth a total of £231,408.The money, which comes from funds that Broadland has put aside specifically to help relieve the effects of the recession will help a wide range of activities and projects such as guided walks for health, an after school bus service, a furniture restoration and recycling project and the rebuilding of a village hall.

Conservative led Broadland District Council signs up to 'Save Our Villages'

Broadland District Council has become one of the first local authorities in the country to pledge its backing for a national campaign to build more affordable homes in rural areas.The National Housing Federation 'Save Our Villages' initiative seeks to ensure a fairer deal for thousands of young people and low earners who struggle to find homes they can afford in the communities in which they grew up. All too often, locals are priced out of the market.To enable this to go ahead, the council has launched a policy to fast track affordable residential development on small sites adjoining existing villages where a local need has been identified.Five families in Halvergate have recently moved into solar-heated homes specially built for people with a connection to the village and Broadland intends to continue these schemes across the district.