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Councillor Alexandra Kemp expresses disappointment after no Community Infrastructure Levy funding awarded to help footpath and ferry in King’s Lynn

A councillor has expressed her disappointment after funding was not allocated to improve a town’s footpath and ferry service.

Alexandra Kemp, a borough councillor for the South and West Lynn ward and leader of the newly formed Progressive Group, is frustrated that funding was not allocated to boost infrastructure in West Lynn.

On Tuesday, March 5, more than £480,000 was awarded to support 19 local infrastructure projects in the latest round of CIL applications.

Cllr Alex Kemp expressed her distaste in relation to CIL funding
Cllr Alex Kemp expressed her distaste in relation to CIL funding

She expressed her outrage at the decision and expressed her belief that investment should be put in place to help improve accessibility of the ferry which travels between West Lynn and the town centre as well as enhancing the public footpath between Willow Tree Close and Clockcase Road.

Members of the West Lynn Action Group – a group formed to help tackle issues important to them in their area of town – have also expressed their disappointment that CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) funding was not allocated to improve these areas.

CIL funding comes from a charge which can be levied by local authorities on new developments in their area.

The ferry service in West Lynn
The ferry service in West Lynn

Cllr Kemp said: “It is outrageous that the CIL Panel said that the county council has not demonstrated best value for money in the county's quote for £260,000 to surface the West Lynn footpath.”

She has urged that the decision should be reversed and made counterarguments against reasons she has said were given for the proposal to be turned down.

She added: “All the evidence shows we need to prevent short-distance car journeys to prevent climate change, as the greatest emitter of domestic carbon emissions is road transport.

“Short journeys under five miles make up 58% of all car journeys, so preventing car journeys from West Lynn is a no-brainer and a goal of the Lynn Transport Plan.”

The West Lynn footpath at the centre of the debate
The West Lynn footpath at the centre of the debate

She also stated that investing in the West Lynn footpath would help promote public health.

However, during the meeting, there were some concerns made in relation to the £260,000 worth of funding applied for. It was also explained that no breakdown of funding was not given.

Last year, concerned residents formed the West Lynn Action Group. Members of that group have expressed their disappointment with the decision made.

The site where the West Lynn ferry leaves from
The site where the West Lynn ferry leaves from

Karen Champion, press officer at West Lynn Action Group, said: “It was very discouraging that West Lynn Action Group’s bid was dismissed on such spurious grounds.

“We have formed the group particularly so that funds can be drawn down to better this lovely village, an unparished village with very little representation.

“These funds would add to what could be achieved with existing district and county budgets for the good of our residents and visitors.

“I feel pretty angry that our wish for an improvement that satisfies so many district and county policies has been refused despite there being money available for such a bid.”

An aerial view of the West Lynn footpath. Picture: Google
An aerial view of the West Lynn footpath. Picture: Google

Cllr Jim Moriarty, West Norfolk Council’s cabinet member for development and regeneration, said: “The council sets out clear guidance for applicants to the CIL funding programme and all applications are reviewed against this so we can ensure they are considered in a fair and transparent manner – which is what people in West Norfolk would expect of this process.

“Any application that does not follow this guidance cannot be granted funds and on this occasion several applications were turned down for this reason.

“We provide detailed feedback to all applicants, whether they have been successful or unsuccessful in their application.

“In the case of the West Lynn footpath, there were some issues with the proposal submitted, including provision of quotations. We will be happy to provide advice that will help the applicants to develop a fully-formed proposal for future re-submission.”

Some of the applications are for simple upgrades that will improve community facilities and many applications seek help to buy equipment for or improve children’s play areas.

Others included the provision of an outdoor classroom at Magdalen Academy to facilitate healthy outdoor learning, a community orchard, new storage for Westacre Arts Foundation to support its theatre, and an upgrade to a beach hut in Old Hunstanton used by MENCAP.

The biggest individual project was £150,000 to support the purchase of a former church to use as a village hall for the community of Terrington St John.

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