Village News Archive

News from the village, January 2021

© All content copyright 2021


FRUITFUL TALKS OVER ALLOTMENTS: The cost of installing water at the allotments is likely to be slashed after Norfolk County Council said it could carry out planned resurfacing work on Low Road at the same time.

Winterton Parish Council was given a quote of around £4,500 for the work, including the temporary closures of the road and it prompted concern among some villagers who complained it would only benefit a few people.

But as councillors met on Zoom on January 27th they heard work on the two projects could be combined, cutting the cost dramatically.

When they decided the budget later that evening they agreed to allow a maximum contribution of £2,500 towards the installation.

In a letter borough councillor Noel Galer told them: “I have been in touch with county councillor Andy Grant, to see if we can co-ordinate their proposed work on resurfacing Low Road with the installation of water to the allotments. Thus saving the cost of a statutory road closure.

“It would appear that this may be possible and would save a major part of the cost of the project.”

He wrote: “I think Winterton has been most unfortunate with the quote

for this work and has had no recourse to alternative suppliers as they must deal with the prevailing utility company.”

As an allotment holder at Caister, he said he could see the benefits to physical and mental health, particularly during the pandemic. And a changing climate had shown water was no longer an optional extra.

“Although it may appear that only a minority of local people are set to gain from this sort of project, I think there are many other examples, which I would not otherwise think to question. These include footpaths, public toilets, youth facilities, bus shelters, bowling greens, mobile libraries and so on,” he added.

Chairman for the meeting Mark Bobby said: “There is a perfect opportunity for us to do something which has been the aim of the parish council for a long time.”

“Initially we were given a shocking figure of £3,000 to £4,000 to shut the road.”

He said putting in water would benefit more people than the allotment holders, including those who visited the churchyard to put flowers on graves.

The plan is that the supply will be brought to the edge of the site and volunteers will dig for the pipework taking it to dipping tanks. Cllr Bobby stressed allotment holders would be expected to pay a levy to use the water. The council is already planning to increase rents to bring them into line with other allotments in the area.

VIRGIN BUILDING CONVERSION: The parish council has raised no objections to controversial plans to convert the former Virgin Media hub in Low Road into a holiday let.

Developers behind the application, which is due to be decided by the borough council by 12th February, say it offers betters sustainability for the site than leaving it as it is and it will reuse a redundant building, bringing in money to the local economy.

PlaSurv, acting for NorCam Properties, also claim it is in line with the borough council’s policy on promoting tourism.

It prompted objections from people living in the area who complained the site had poor access and there were too many holiday homes. They said Low Road was unsuitable for construction traffic and was used mainly by walkers, children and horse riders.

But county council highways officers and borough environmental services have not objected

FUNDRAISER GOES FULL STEAM AHEAD: TS Fearless Marine Cadets are more than halfway towards their £4,000 target to buy a new minibus just weeks after launching a crowdfunding appeal.

As January came to a close the figure stood at £2,700.

The current vehicle, used to take the cadets to activities, is badly in need of replacement.

Lt Rachel Tooke told Winterton Parish Council’s January meeting: “It is the backbone of our troop. It is our workhorse and unfortunately the old one has given up the ghost.

“It has passed an MOT but it is not suitable for taking the kids. It is going to need a lot of welding done.”

She explained the unit had lost the best part of £10,000 in fundraising opportunities because of the Covid pandemic. It had also lost some cadets.

The unit, which caters for youngsters aged 10 to 21, is self- funding, normally relying on grants and fundraisers to pay for kit, rent and activities.

But it has had to suspend meetings and outdoor activities because of lockdown and staff are running virtual sessions online to keep the children interested.

The group was congratulated and encouraged by Claire Thompson, who chairs Winterton in Bloom which ran a similar successful appeal to raise £2,000 for sensory planters in the village.

“It will gather pace and you will get the remaining money,” she said. “We are absolutely delighted to achieve our target and we wish you well with yours.

Marie Hartley suggested the unit could benefit from grants available to organisations affected by the pandemic.

Click here to donate to the minibus appeal.

COUNCIL BUDGET SET: The parish precept is to rise by just over £1,300 in April – an increase of £2.25 a year for an average band D property.

Winterton councillors also voted to allocate a maximum of £2,500 in the budget for work to install water at the allotments, kept charges for the cricket club at £350 and awarded grass cutting contracts for the playing field and village to Vortex. GYB Services was given the contract for interim cuts at the playground and Pat Carver was handed the beach litter picking service.

VILLAGE NEWSLETTER: A new steering group will look at bringing back a printed version of the village newsletter.

Marina Carr told colleagues on the parish council the idea of a communications working group was first discussed in May last year. She proposed a small group including residents would get together to discuss issues like remit, different media, a style guide and software before going back to the council at the next meeting.

BEACH CAFÉ APPLICATION: A bid to install storage containers converted into catering units on the beach car park to replace the Dunes Café is to be considered by the borough council. A condition of the existing planning permission for mobile units is that they have to be removed at night. But an application has been lodged to allow secure converted steel containers, clad in wood to reflect nearby sheds, to remain permanently unless they need to be moved because of an emergency.

Cover shot by David Gahan

Thousands raised for village causes

TWO community groups in Winterton have launched crowdfunder appeals - and one of them has already hit its target.

Winterton-on-Sea In Bloom have raised £2,120, which will be spent on a sensory garden with raised planters and borders for the disabled.

901 TS Fearless Marine Cadets are racing full steam ahead with their campaign to raise enough money for a badly needed minibus. In less than a week they raised £545, and now the total stands at £2,340 of their £4,000 target.

Other Village News

Honour for seals' friend Peter (January 2021)

WHEN seal warden Peter Ansell received an email telling him he’d been nominated in the New Year’s Honours and asking him to respond he deleted it because he was convinced it was a con trick.

And when he answered the phone to a woman who told him she was from the Cabinet Office he still wasn’t buying it.

“I said ‘I think you’re a scammer’. Because she was calling from a mobile. But she said they were all working from home,” he told WoS.

Still a little dubious, he filled in the official forms she emailed and sent them back. He was stunned when it was confirmed the award, a Medal of the Order of the British Empire for services to seal conservation was genuine.

It’s because of the little tern colony at Winterton that the 86-year-old, who is one of the founder members of the Friends of Horsey Seals, became a warden in the first place.

Advice given over Covid spreading within households (21 January 2021)

Don’t drop your guard within your own home, if you live with someone with Covid symptoms.


That’s the message from director of public health Dr Louise Smith, amid concern that spread within homes accounted for over a third of cases.


Dr Smith is also concerned that cases in Norwich remain high, despite infections starting to reduce in the rest of Norfolk.


The latest figures show that:


          there are 730 Covid patients in Norfolk’s hospitals, including 55 in intensive care

          there have been 3,896 cases in the seven days to 16th January - this is 474 fewer compared to the same time last week

          the seven-day incidence rate is 439 per 100,000 - this is a reduction of 52 compared to the previous week

          for the county, the seven day incidence rate is 439 per 100,000 - this is a reduction of 52 compared to the previous week


Dr Smith said: “Case figures are reducing in Norfolk, except for in Norwich, which is looking like a regional outlier.


“In Norwich, cases are also rising among the over-60s. This is very concerning, as it may lead to more hospital admissions and deaths.”


Councillor Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “It’s frustrating for us all to see that the cases in Norwich are remaining stubbornly high – and this is despite the clear collective efforts of the majority of our residents and businesses carefully following the guidance.


“But we need everyone to hold their nerve and continue to follow the rules so we can turn the corner and see the rewards of the sacrifices we’ve all made, since we went into lockdown two weeks ago, with a reduction in cases in the city.”


Dr Smith said that 35 per cent of cases were now linked to where people lived – whether in their own homes or care homes.


She said: “It’s very easy to be wary of strangers but then drop your guard when someone you live with shows Covid symptoms.


“There are simple precautions everyone can follow, to keep yourself safe in these circumstances.”


Government guidelines include:


          Spending as little time as possible in shared spaces within the home, when the infected person is present

          Ensuring the infected person can eat meals in their own room

          Double-bagging any rubbish such as tissues used by the infected person

          Using separate towels and ensuring the bathroom is cleaned after the infected person has used it

The full guidelines and links to more information are included in the background section.


County council leader, Councillor Andrew Proctor, said: “I continue to be proud of how the people of Norfolk and all key agencies are working together in the face of this pandemic.


“I’m very encouraged by what we are hearing from NHS colleagues regarding the wider roll-out of vaccinations, including the new centre in the Castle Quarter  in Norwich.


“The long-term way out of this situation is through vaccination. But in the meantime it’s still just as important that the guidelines of hands, face and space are strictly followed.


“It’s still early days in terms of analysing the information but we should get a better picture in coming weeks.”



The latest Government guidelines on staying safe at home are available here.

Latest vaccination information for Norfolk, from NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG:

          We would like to thank everyone who has offered sites for the vaccination programme. The NHS has now identified all sites we need and we are not looking for any additional venues.


          All 21 PCN sites are now live across Norfolk and Waveney.


          The first large vaccination centre in Norfolk and Waveney went live on 18/01/21 at Castle Quarter in Norwich.


          We are awaiting confirmation of when the other 12 large centres we’ve had approved will open, but we still expect they will go live from February in a phased approach.


          Hayden Chemists on Bridge Road in Lowestoft is the first high street pharmacy in Norfolk and Waveney to be offering the vaccination (live from 21/01/21) and the CCG is working with NHSE/I and local pharmacies to increase the number of pharmacies offering the vaccine.

          This week the Government announced that people aged 70 and over and the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) will begin to be vaccinated, and some local people in these groups are now being invited to have their vaccination; to be clear, we are continuing to prioritise those in priority groups 1 and 2, which is those people aged over 80, health and social care staff and older adult care home staff and residents.

          By Sunday, 24 January we will have offered the vaccine to all care home residents and staff living and working in homes for the over 65s. The only exceptions will be care homes that have or have recently had an outbreak of COVID-19 which has prevented this. New guidance published this week says that vaccinations can continue in homes with outbreaks if a risk assessment is undertaken, which we are doing.


          By the end of January, we will have offered the vaccine to all over 80s. The vast majority will be done this week, particularly those able to travel to a site or who live in a care home. It may take us a little longer to get to all those who are housebound across Norfolk and Waveney as this is more complicated, but they should still all be offered a vaccine by the end of January


          If patients have any difficulties in getting to their appointment, or require further assistance or support, they should discuss this with their GP practice or hospital when they are contacted.


          All GP practices have information about their local community transport schemes who can help patients to get to their vaccination appointments.


          Norfolk County Council has some information here.

          Transport Plus is the last resort service in Norfolk, more details can be found here.


          Caring Together is offering support to carers in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk, to enable them to access the COVID-19 vaccine. More information is available here.


          Please do not contact your GP practice or hospital to request a COVID-19 vaccine. You will be contacted when it's your turn to be vaccinated.

          You can find out more information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme on the NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG website

The former transport manager enjoyed seeing the birds in his garden although he wasn’t really a twitcher. But after moving up to East Anglia he joined the RSPB and eventually started to volunteer. In the early 2000s he was asked if he would help look after the little tern colony at Winterton.

Natural England monitored the small grey seal colony nearby at Horsey and encouraged visitors to keep their distance. In those days the number of pups born every winter was only a few dozen.

Then austerity hit and the organisation approached people who volunteered with other groups, including Peter, to set up a group to oversee the pupping season, which was becoming

Peter Ansell    Picture by Jo Davenport

more and more of a winter attraction. In 2011 the Friends of Horsey Seals was formed.

Over the years more volunteers have been recruited to act as wardens, providing information to the public, monitoring pup numbers and watching for seals in trouble. In a normal winter season they are kept busy by the estimated 90,000 to 100,000 people who visit the coast between Horsey and Winterton.

Peter, who chairs the group, usually goes out on rescues. “People think pups have been abandoned, which is a popular misconception,” he said. Grey seal pups are fed by their mothers for about three weeks before being left to fend for themselves. Once they’ve shed their distinctive white coat they are able to swim and hunt.

“We get pups that have been injured by bulls or other females when they’ve strayed into the wrong area. Some are attacked by dogs and we get a lot of calls about seals with things round their necks, like flying rings.”

It was the rescue of a seal they called Mrs Frisbee that prompted a campaign to persuade people not to take the toys to the beach. The horrific wounds caused as one got stuck and eventually embedded in her skin made national news headlines. See our report here.

Like many she was treated at the RSPCA’s East Winch hospital. Unfortunately the facility is currently closed to new admissions as a result of the Covid pandemic, meaning seals have to take their chance. “We got one the other day that had fishing net around its neck. We managed to cut it off but it had a wound all the way round,” he said. The hope is that the salt in the sea water will heal it.

Peter paid tribute to his fellow wardens who do regular duties on the beaches at Horsey and Winterton, often in bitterly cold weather. And although he turns 87 next week he aims to carry on volunteering.

“At the moment I’m pretty fit and healthy. I don’t believe I’m as old as I am. I’ve had my jabs and while I can still get about I’ll keep going.”

Visit here to read more about work by Natural England and FoHS to protect the seals.