On this week: December 3-9, 2003 in Downham Market, Fakenham, King’s Lynn, Southery and Terrington St John
In our On This Week feature, we look back through the Lynn News pages of December 3-9, 2003...
All of West Norfolk Council’s staff – more than 800 – have received letters less than three weeks before Christmas asking them to consider offering themselves for redundancy. And there is also a warning that if not enough volunteers step forward to help plug an almost £2,500,000 black hole over the next three years there could possibly be compulsory redundancies. The controlling Conservative group is looking for savings in the face of a £450,000 deficit next year, and has blamed the previous Labour administration for building up staffing levels to the point where they could not be sustained.
The number of day cases undergoing surgery at the Arthur Levin Day Surgery Centre, at Lynn, has doubled in the last 12 months. The figure now represents 67 per cent of all the surgery carried out at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital – and it brings the centre well within reach of the Government target of 70 per cent of elective surgery being carried out on a day case basis. A total of 9,111 patients had their surgery at the day centre last year; before the centre opened, 49 per cent of operations at the hospital would have been treated as day cases.
Motorists were trapped in Lynn’s town centre car park at Sainsbury’s supermarket for nearly two hours as roads became clogged with heavy festive traffic. While shoppers packed the town centre to set the tills jingling, the cars became gridlocked throughout the town as the road system struggled to cope. Sainsbury’s store manager Gary Davenport is furious at the massive tailbacks in the car park and said the problems were down to West Norfolk Council, which owns it.
Southery Primary School has been hailed the 15th most improved school in the country, after marks rose consistently for the last three years. And according to Government Key Stage 2 tables which have just been released, Necton Middle School ended just outside the 100 most improved, being placed 101st. But locally there was disappointment that six West Norfolk schools were placed in the lowest five per cent of the national table – Blenheim Park in Sculthorpe, Docking Primary, Denver Primary, and Lynn schools Eastgate Primary, Howard Junior and St Edmund’s Community.
Staff and residents of two West Norfolk old folks’ homes, High Haven in Downham and Burman House in Terrington St John are today celebrating a more secure future. After being threatened with closure last year because the homes did not meet new minimum standards laid down by the Government, a protest campaign and a legal challenge followed. Norfolk County Council has now produced an older people’s strategy document, Living Longer, Living Well, which proposed retaining and upgrading all the council’s homes, and the report has been welcomed by representatives of the two homes.
Residents in the Downham area are being urged to add their weight to a campaign for a second pharmacy in the town, which has already been backed by many organisations and groups such as West Norfolk Council, Downham Town Council, Downham Chamber of Trade, the Community Health Council and local residents’ associations. A Norwich-based company, Talat & Co Ltd, wants to open a second pharmacy, a move opposed by Boots, which at present runs the town’s only pharmacy in Wales Court.
Developers responsible for transforming North Lynn’s derelict Anglia Canners site into a retail park have sold it for £7.5 million. The news comes as the park’s new retailers start advertising for jobs and construction work gains pace. As well as Wickes DIY store, other big names virtually confirmed for the park are Choices Video Store and Farm Foods frozen food store; discussions are also taking place with Burger King and Scandinavian supermarket Netto has also been pencilled in.
Fakenham Town FC is about to launch a final push for permanent changing and clubhouse facilities, inviting interest-free loans in multiples of £100 over three years, with a target of £25,000. This will support an application for grant aid to the Football Association. Since moving to Clipbush Park in 1997 and producing one of the best playing surfaces in the county, the Ghosts has had to endure temporary accommodation for players and spectators alike.
Bridget’s Flowers, owned by Bridget Nurse and based in St James Street, Lynn, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Bridget started her business from home in Holcombe Avenue, Lynn, at the age of 18 in 1983 and the move to St James Street came two years later and the business has continued to grow steadily for two decades.