10 April 2014

Norfolk County Council PR 12390 - 04 April 2014 

PUBLIC INFORMATION Trading Standards warn on new telephone cold calling scam

Norfolk's Trading Standards officers are warning residents and carers to be on their guard against a telephone cold calling scam that encourages elderly people to reveal information which could give the scammers access to their homes.

The alarm was raised after a Norwich resident was contacted by someone claiming to be from BT telephoning residents to let them know about a suspected problem with the phone network in their area.

The caller explained that they may need to have access to their property, and would therefore need the code to their "key safe" - an external safe containing a key that can be accessed by authorised visitors - like carers or family members - using a security code.

Fortunately, after providing the information, the resident called a relative, who immediately contacted Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline.

Stephen Maunder of Norfolk's Trading Standards said: "This kind of activity is cynically designed to take advantage of our most vulnerable residents. Our advice is to never give any details like this to anyone who calls you unexpectedly - whether by telephone or by coming to your door.

"We are also asking relatives and carers to be alert to this recent scam and if you have any concerns to report it to Citzens Advice consumer helpline.

"Our advice is also to never let anyone inside your home if they call unexpectedly until you are satisfied they are who they say they are. But if you feel you are in immediate danger or the caller is threatening or aggressive call 999."

A spokesman from BT added: "If you are uncertain about a caller claiming to be from BT, ask them to provide their employee ID number and an 0800 number that you can get back to them on. You can then call BT on 0800 800 150 to confirm the call is genuine.

"We recognise that elderly people are targets for scams. Our message is to be aware of scams and to tell your friends and family about it. We raise awareness of scams to protect customers though articles on our website, bt.com, by supporting police and by using social media. "

The Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline is open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm. The contact number is 08454 04 05 06 (or 0208 1850 710)

For further information please contact:
Media Team at Norfolk County Council
Tel: 01603 228888
Email: pressoffice@norfolk.gov.uk

2 April 2014

Former RAF Coltishall Community Liaison Reference Group Briefing Note April 2014

See Link  for latest information on the developments of the airbase.   The next Liaison Group Meeting date has yet to be decided but is likely to be in May.

13 October 2013

Norfolk Putting People First consultation  -  see Link

12 June 2013

Norfolk Putting People First consultation.

Norfolk County Council PR 9949 - 05/06/2013       

Early warning of Carrow River Bridge weekend closure in July
Norfolk County Council is giving early warning that Carrow Road River Bridge, Norwich, will be closed for a weekend in July to allow essential deck repairs to be carried out.
Eleven carriageway deck panels have deteriorated to a point where they have to be replaced. Patch repairing is no longer sufficient. It is hoped that the work can be carried out on the weekend of 6 to 8 July, but since the materials being used are weather sensitive, two further weekend are proposed in case of bad weather: 13 to 15 July and 20 to 22 July. Work will only take place on one of these weekends.
When the work does take place, it will start at 6am on the Saturday with the road being reopened to vehicles between 10pm on the Sunday and 6am on the Monday. Work will be continuous until complete. The most disruptive and noisy operations have been programmed to take place during the day to minimise night time disturbance to nearby properties.
Signed diversion routes will be in place for vehicles, but the footways will remain open to pedestrians throughout. The works will be carried out for Norfolk County Council by May Gurney and will cost £50,000.

 For further information please contact:
John Birchall
Senior media and public affairs officer, Norfolk County Council
Tel: 01603 224222
Email : john.birchall@norfolk.gov.uk

30 April 2013

Norfolk County Council PR 9914 - 18/04/2013

Norfolk’s Trading Standards and Police crack down on underage alcohol sales 

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.

An underage young volunteer was used in the Test Purchasing operation and was able to buy alcohol without being questioned at six premises last week. The 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 which resulted in six sales to a 15-year-old volunteer. This represents a 27% sale rate. In each case the seller was issued with an £80 fine, and interviewed by officers from Norfolk Constabulary for selling alcohol to children. 

Four sales were made from off-licensed premises and two sales from on-licensed premises within the Easter Holidays. The premises targeted were across five district councils in Norfolk - Norwich, South Norfolk, North Norfolk, Kings Lynn & West Norfolk and Broadland. The licensed premises were targeted based on intelligence fed to Norfolk Constabulary and Norfolk Trading Standards.

Investigations are continuing against the owners of the alcohol in each case. The maximum penalty for this offence is a £5,000 fine and can also include revocation of the licence to sell alcohol.

Duncan Harris, Senior Trading Standards Officer at Norfolk County Council, said: “Selling alcohol to underage children is a serious offence and we are extremely disappointed that a number of business premises were caught doing this. 

“We conduct regular tests of retailers of alcohol in Norfolk using people who are under 18 years old. There is no excuse for not asking for identification and we advise all retailers to ask for ID from everyone who looks under 25. 

“This is a reminder that retailers are the last line of protection to stop young people getting their hands on alcohol and some premises continue to serve people under 18 years old. In each case where a sale was made the young volunteer was not asked for ID and was served alcohol.

Inspector Ed Brown from Norfolk Constabulary, said: "The failed test purchases are a concern, particularly those occurring in on-licensed premises where there were additional safeguards available for the licensee, including door supervisors.

"It demonstrates that the intelligence led approach of police and trading standards is effective in targeting those premises which are breaking the law. Underage alcohol sales are linked to increased levels of anti-social behaviour and criminality as well as bringing increased risks of harm to young people."

Should anyone know of shops selling alcohol or other products to persons under the age of 18 please report this to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06.

Notes for Editors

Volunteer purchasers need the permission of their parent or carer.

Volunteer purchasers are always accompanied by a Trading Standards Officer. 

Volunteers work under close supervision and in accordance with best practice procedures. 

Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards will visit volunteers and their parents first to discuss and explain matters fully; staff are CRB checked to work with youngsters.Volunteers would not have to visit premises near where they live, or close to their school or where they socialise.

For political comment

Cllr Nigel Dixon (Cons), Cabinet member for Community Protection, on 01603 783885
Cllr Brian Hannah (Lib Dem) 01263 823791
Cllr Andrew Boswell (Green) on 01603 613798
Cllr Colleen Walker (Lab), 01493 782272

Lou Chapman

Media Officer

Norfolk County Council

Tel: 01603 228821

Email: lou.chapman@norfolk.gov.uk

22 March 2013

Norfolk County Council PR 9888 - 20/03/2013       

Get involved with Norfolk County Council Hubs in your community
People from all walks of life are being encouraged to join groups that have been set up across the county to ensure communities can influence how their local Norfolk County Council Community Hubs are run.
Local Hub Advisory Groups have been created in Norfolk over the last six months and are based in locations that have Norfolk County Council-run Hub services. The groups are at different stages of being established, with some only just being set up, but the intention is that around half of each group’s members will be people who use local Hub services with the other half being people who are interested in how services at the Hubs, is provided in their community, such as carers, Hub staff and people who work in caring professions, representatives from local support groups and charities and local residents.
The advisory groups meet once a month and give their members an opportunity to speak to Norfolk County Council staff, find out about local day care provision, and share ideas and influence the way the Hubs could be run in the future.
Russell Simpson, Independent Living Group Development Worker at the Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People, is a member of the Dereham Community Hub advisory group.
He said: “Our organisation was asked to become involved with the group to support the project, the aims of which are to support the residents of Dereham and surrounding area involving community engagement around services which offer people more choice within their own lives.
“There's a really good mix of people, from those representing organisations and agencies to parents and guardians. At the group it’s very much a case of encouraging people to engage as much as possible so they have a say in their community for the future and this is something that we’re pleased to be involved with.”
Shelagh Gurney, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “Care services are something that most of us will have direct experience of at some point in our lives, whether for ourselves or for a relative, loved one or a friend. People are living longer and the care system in the UK is having to adapt to make sure the care available can not only meet demand but also people’s expectations.
“How care is provided, now and in the future, is therefore something people from all walks of life have a vested interest in, and being a member of a Local Hub Advisory Group is an excellent way of contributing your ideas and helping shape day care in your community. While the County Council is helping to get these groups established, we very much want them to be led by local communities, so that everyone involved feels empowered and able to make a difference. We are really keen to hear from anyone interested in getting involved, so please do get in touch to find out whether you might want to become a member in your local area.”
There are currently 20 Local Hub Advisory Groups located across Norfolk. People interested in where to find their local Hub or looking for more information on how to get involved with a Local Hub Advisory Group can contact Matthew Hodder at Norfolk County Council on 01603 495741 or e-mail matthew.hodder@norfolk.gov.uk.

For political comment
Cllr Shelagh Gurney (Cons) Cabinet member for Adult Social Services 01603 403122
Cllr James Joyce (Lib Dem) 01263 587212
Cllr Stephen Little (Green) 01603 617888
Cllr George Nobbs (Labour) 01603 611406

10 January 2013

Norfolk County Council PR 9768 - 08/01/2013       

Another construction boost opportunity for Norfolk’s community groups
Norfolk’s industry and community-led building projects are set to get another construction boost thanks to County Council funding.
Local community groups will be able to apply for a share of the Norfolk County Council Community Construction Fund as the second round of funding opens this week (Wednesday 9 January).
There is just over £1 million available from an original funding pot of £3.5m which aims to make a real difference to local life. The intention is to enhance community facilities or create new ones and simultaneously further support economic activity within the construction sector of the Norfolk economy by using local workers and contractors wherever possible.
The fund was created last year to help get a wide range of ‘shovel ready’ community projects off the ground such as: - sports facilities, village hall extensions, play areas and other community facilities such as improved areas for disabled people.
County Councillor Ian Mackie, who announced the fund at the September Cabinet, said: "We are extremely excited to be able to offer further funding to local community groups who need to be supported. This second pot of money gives new community projects a chance to see their projects come to fruition, and also for those who had unsuccessful applications in the first round, to have another opportunity of getting a share of the funding.
"We were delighted with the response we received from the last round which shows there is a wealth of active communities in Norfolk. We have already been able to give more than £2 million to 41 community-led organisations and therefore make a real difference to local life.
"Construction plays a huge part in stimulating the local economy as it traditionally requires a higher level of employment and it is fantastic that we are able to provide another opportunity to turn the hopes of even more community groups into reality."
The grants for new construction projects will be available to a wide range of community led organisations. Those eligible to apply for a share of the fund will need to be formally constituted bodies such as: - parish, town and district councils, charities, sports clubs, neighbourhood boards and churches.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate that projects:
• Are construction or building-related
• Will benefit the local community or residents of/visitors to Norfolk
• Have all of the necessary planning permissions
• Can evidence all estimated costs with contractors quotes
• Can be taken forward in a timely way with no delays
• Can evidence consultation with and support of the local community
• Have the support of the County Councillor (sponsor) for the area
• Have plans in place for long term maintenance, insurance and sustainability
Particular consideration will be given to projects that:
• Will help the local economy by employing small businesses in Norfolk and local workers or contractors
• Might generate further funding support from other areas – such as lottery or match funding
Derrick Murphy, Leader of Norfolk County Council and Chairman of the Community Construction Fund Panel, said: "We know from speaking to local communities that this kind of investment is extremely valuable to them. We hope that the second round of funding will allow even more groups to help themselves practically and therefore support economic growth in Norfolk.
"In the first round of grant allocations, the County Council funding has in many instances unlocked much larger construction projects. So for instance, a £100,000 grant has allowed a £400,000 construction project to begin, therefore ensuring far greater economic activity which is great news for many local businesses.
"I would urge people to get in touch and apply for a share of the funding and in March we hope to announce which bids have been successful."
Applications submitted by Norfolk organisations will be coordinated by the Norfolk Community Foundation and a shortlist will be considered by a cross-party panel of Norfolk County Councillors.
Norfolk Community Foundation Chief Executive Graham Tuttle said: “This second round of funding is another great way for community groups to receive a financial boost allowing them to carry out construction projects which they may have been wanting to achieve for some time but haven’t had sufficient funds.
"It is satisfying to know that we will be able to help even more people in the county by giving money to local communities for lasting positive change."
The second round of funding for Norfolk County Council’s Community Construction Fund opens on Wednesday 9 January and closes on Thursday 14 February. Successful applications will be decided in March.
Community led organisations interested in submitting an application for funding can do so by visiting www.norfolk.gov.uk/communityconstructionfund or by calling the Grants Team on 01603 623958.

For political comment
Derrick Murphy, Leader of the Council, Chairman of Cabinet, Cabinet member for Transformation and Leader of the Conservative Group, on 01553 811407
Mike Brindle, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, on 01842 753566
Richard Bearman, Leader of the Green Party Group, on 01603 504124
George Nobbs, Leader of the Labour Group, on 01603 611406

Lou Chapman
Media Officer
Norfolk County Council
Tel: 01603 228821
Email: lou.chapman@norfolk.gov.uk