News from the Winterton-on-Sea Parish Council & the village, April 2021
The intention is to reduce the risk of people relieving themselves in the dunes – a problem that has increased with the closure of the toilets during lockdown. “I personally witnessed this last summer,” he told colleagues at the full council meeting on 31st March.
Chairman for the meeting Mark Bobby stressed: “This is specifically to support cleaning of the toilets. This is a short-term solution to enable the toilets to be opened and cleaned.”
Cllr Nigel Coe asked him if the beach car park owner had been made aware of the proposal. He replied he didn’t know but they would be notified after the meeting that there was funding available.
The council said it intended to work with businesses and the borough council to seek a longer term solution.
Following the meeting the car park owner said any support for the toilets would be welcomed.
Six years ago the facility was threatened with permanent closure after Great Yarmouth Borough Council slashed its budget for public toilets.
An agreement was eventually reached that saw the cost of opening and cleaning them met by business owners at the beach.
Staff at the Dunes café used to help keep them clean, but the café had to be demolished in December, a victim of coastal erosion.
See our on the fight to keep the toilets.
READY TO SPEND A PENNY: Short term emergency funding has been offered to keep the Beach Road public loos open and prevent people relieving themselves in the dunes.
Opening and cleaning the toilets was being done by beach car park staff. But they were closed when the car park shut following the Covid lockdown imposed at the start of January.
In the weeks that followed there were reports of people squatting in the dunes, which are home to rare species and are an internationally important site of special scientific interest.
Now Winterton Parish Council has decided to offer grant support to ensure the loos can stay open.
In a prepared statement Cllr Liam McMahon said: “We are proposing a series of two one-off payments to support the cleaning of the toilets.”
The first £420 would be available for April and the same amount would follow in June if the need for additional support could be demonstrated.
“This is important to protect the dunes that are well loved by villagers and visitors,” he explained.
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DOG BAN INVESTIGATION: A seasonal ban on dogs on the beach north of the car park could be considered.
The parish council is investigating what its powers are to prevent owners taking their pets onto the sands during the summer, after the subject was raised at its full meeting on 31st March.
Cllr Emma Punchard said she had been asked by a resident whether restrictions similar to those used at other coastal sites including Sea Palling could be looked at.
She knew the council was sent a questionnaire every year about whether it wanted dog restrictions on the beach so perhaps it could find out what powers it had to get the borough council to impose the ban. Then the village could be consulted.
Chairman for the meeting Mark Bobby said there had been discussions in the past but they were more about dogs being kept on leads in the dunes.
He knew that during the little terns nesting season there was a heavy presence in the area to deter dogs from getting too close, but on the other hand there were a lot of people who walked their dogs down on the beach.
He wasn’t sure what appetite there would be for a ban but thought the situation needed to be reviewed.
He said: “We need to find out whether it is something we as a village and us as a council want to enforce.”
CONED OFF: Bigger traffic cones could be put out in parking trouble spots at peak times because the normal sized versions have been getting stuck under cars.
The parish council bought a stock of cones to combat problems at sensitive locations caused by inconsiderate parking, often by visitors who don’t want to pay to use the beach car park.
The problem has got worse since the introduction of a year-round parking ban in Beach Road which was brought in following chaotic scenes over Christmas three years ago.
At one point last year the emergency services were held up getting through to the beach to answer a call and the bus was prevented from stopping in the village because it’s way was blocked.
One resident has taken to putting a wheelbarrow out on the road outside a
neighbour’s home so their carers don’t have to spend 15 minutes driving around trying to find a space.
Now the council has been asked to consider buying an extra batch of bigger, heavier and more visible cones to complement the existing stock.
The issue is set to be discussed when it holds its next meeting on 28th April.
FROM BUM TO BEACH: People who want to get fit after months of lockdown restrictions are being encouraged to join a running programme organised by Team Dunerunner.
The Bum to Beach or Standy to Sandy 5k free supported programmes, which last six weeks, are intended to help them get back into running after a long period of reduced exercise, or to start from scratch.
Before the pandemic the group used to meet up at the pub. But with the lifting of restrictions on outdoor sports members hope to start again on April 14, this time meeting in the open air at the playing field car park.
Visit for more information.
BLOOMING LOVELY: The In Bloom team is to plant a crab apple tree on the village hall green as a tribute to NHS fundraising hero Capt Tom Moore. Borough councillor James Bensly expressed his support for the project, which will replace a rotten tree that was removed.
The Emergency Response Group has been helping people with deliveries and shopping since the beginning of the pandemic last year
But Cllr John Smithson said: “What the support group lacks is a hardship fund – where there is short term hardship we are not able to respond in a very effective way.”
Cllr Marina Carr suggested the issue could be considered by the council’s finance group to see if it could come up with a proposal.
“As we open up the difference between the haves and the have nots is going to become a lot wider and some of the problems will become more acute,” she said.
Clerk Stacey Kent explained the council could not give to individuals and putting together a proposal would require some work so the group might not be able to bring it forward in time for the April meeting.
GOING WITH THE FLOW: Pipework installed at the allotments to supply gardeners with water has been given the seal of approval by Essex and Suffolk Water.
But now they have been told they need a chlorination certificate.
John Smithson told colleagues on the parish council the system was complete and ready for connection following a huge effort by a team of volunteers.
But now he was looking at the certification issue. “It would have been helpful if they had told us three weeks ago when we finished the installation,” he said.
The pipework, which will feed dipping tanks at the site, is expected to be connected to the water supply during the time Low Road is closed for resurfacing.
A HELPING HAND: A gap in support for people affected by the Covid lockdowns has been identified by a team set up to help vulnerable villagers.
LOW ROAD RESURFACING: THERE is no evidence to support claims being made in the village that Low Road is to be widened when improvement work starts later this month.
The byway is going to be resurfaced using unsealed granite, which is commonly used on paths and byways and the contractor is being instructed the work should only be done within the byway itself.
A Norfolk County Council ecologist has advised there may be nesting birds at the moment and the hedgerow should be left.
And the county council’s cycling and walking project officer Andrew Middleton has said: “There is adequate clearance along the route corridor for the construction works to be carried out safely and so no further vegetation clearance will be required for the surfacing works.”
The route is due to close to traffic between 19th April and 14th May for the work to be carried out.
Photo: © Google Maps