Winners of the Name a Gritter competition announced!

Stop what you’re doing… The winners of the Name a gritter competition have been decided!

Children from across the county have entered with great enthusiam to come up with names for 8 of our newest gritter trucks as part of Norfolk County Council’s ‘Name a Gritter competition’.

We in the press office had a lot of fun looking through the name ideas. From the Christmassy to the bizare, it was tough deciding which were worthy winners and we asked members of the Environment, Transport Development & Waste team to pick their favourites.

The winners were:

Blitzen Blaster – Caister Junior School

Boudica – Falcon Junior School, Norwich

Chittygrittybangbang – Thorpe House Langley Prep School, Norwich

Freya Frost – Kinsale Junior School, Norwich

Grittersaurus – Yaxham CoE VA Primary School, Dereham

Ice Interceptor – Caston C of E (VA) Primary School, Attleborough

The Grittenator – Horsford C of E Junior School, Norwich

Winter Warrior – Howard Junior School, King’s Lynn

We visited Caister Junior School today who submitted an amazing 20 entries to the competition with the help of their teacher Miss Watling.

Gritter naming competition 052

Gritter naming competition4Their persistence and determination resulted in the winning gritter name ‘Blitzen Blaster’ which came from 10-year-old Jessica Anderson. 

Gritter naming competition2After thinking long and hard about a creative and wintry themed name, Jess came up with the name which will now stay on the gritter for the remainder of its lifetime.

We would like to thank and congratulate everyone who took part in the competition! We hope that everyone has learnt a bit more about staying safe during the winter as well as learning about how our hard working team keep our roads safe.

Be on the look out for all the newly named gritters as they head out on their patrols in the pending frostier weeks! We can’t wait to hear your name suggestions next year!

Don’t forget to get your prescriptions ahead of Christmas

People with long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, lung and heart disease are being reminded by the local NHS not to leave it too late to get their repeat prescriptions. 

It can be hard in the busy run-up to Christmas to find time to look after yourself.  But a simple call to your GP surgery, or a visit to your highstreet pharmacy could make all the difference.  Your pharmacy can also give you useful advice on how to deal with winter bugs, such as coughs, colds, sore throats and the flu.

Many GP practices will have limited opening hours between Christmas and New Year, which means some people may struggle if they run out of their medication.

The NHS wants to make sure that people with these illnesses have a good Christmas and New Year.  The last thing anyone wants is for people to run out of their medication, become poorly and have to spend part of their holiday in hospital.

Your local community pharmacy can help you deal with minor illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, flu, stomach upsets, aches and sprains.

Even over the Christmas holidays there will be pharmacies open. Find locations and opening hours of pharmacies on bank holidays below (pdf).

Christmas and New Year pharmacy opening tmes

E-read your way through Christmas

E-readers are once again topping our Christmas lists this year and make a wonderful gift for book lovers. Norfolk County Council’s library service wants to remind you that they have lots of e-books and e-audio books ready to be downloaded onto your shiny new device, and also to remind you that the service is also completely FREE!

Fiction and non-fiction titles can be downloaded by anyone with a library card from the library service’s website straight to an e-reader, computer, tablet or mobile phone. While lots of devices are compatible, please do check our list here before buying one as a Christmas present if you want to ensure the recipient can borrow e-books from the library with no problem.

E-readers are perfect if you like to read on the go and give you the simplicity of downloading books instantly – anywhere and anytime (as long as you have an internet connection).

As with the traditional book loan service, it costs nothing to borrow an e-book from the library and at the end of the loan period – which can be either seven, 14 or 21 days – the e-book file will be automatically deleted from the borrower’s device, meaning you will never face a late fee!

All you need to do to borrow an e-book is a personal computer with internet access and have membership for the library service – which is also free to join.

Top e-reads you can borrow from the library now include:

Fiction

Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance

In 1975, in an unidentified Indian city, Mrs Dina Dalal, a financially pressed Parsi widow in her early 40s sets up a sweatshop of sorts in her ramshackle apartment. Determined to remain financially independent and to avoid a second marriage, she takes in a boarder and two Hindu tailors to sew dresses for an export company. As the four share their stories, then meals, then living space, human kinship prevails and the four become a kind of family, despite the lines of caste, class and religion. When tragedy strikes, their cherished, newfound stability is threatened, and each character must face a difficult choice in trying to salvage their relationships.

Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar tells the story of a gifted young woman’s mental breakdown beginning during a summer internship as a junior editor at a magazine in New York City in the early 1950s. The real Plath committed suicide in 1963 and left behind this scathingly sad, honest and perfectly-written book, which remains one of the best-told tales of a woman’s descent into insanity.

Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg – Pros and Cons

Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg have teamed up for a dynamic new series featuring an FBI agent who’s on the hunt – and a master con artist who’s enjoying the chase. The con is on in this eBook original short story that’s a triumphant prequel to The Heist.

Erlend Loe – Doppler and Sam Eastland – Eye of the Red Tsar

First in a gripping new series of detective novels set at the birth of Stalin’s Russia.

 

Non-fiction

Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Top Tips for a Truly Wonderful Christmas by A. Non

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the festive period distract you from what should be the happiest time of the year. This indispensable gem of a book offers practical tips on everything from organising party games the whole family will enjoy to planning the all-important Christmas dinner, and will help ensure that Christmas is manageable, and more importantly, fun!

The Beauty And The Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War by PeteEnglund

There are many books on the First World War, but award-winning and bestselling historian Peter Englund takes a daring and stunning new approach. Describing the experiences of twenty ordinary people from around the world, all now unknown, he explores the everyday aspects of war: not only the tragedy and horror, but also the absurdity, monotony and even beauty.

Two of these twenty will perish, two will become prisoners of war, two will become celebrated heroes and two others end up as physical wrecks. This is a piece of anti-history: it brings this epoch-making event back to its smallest component, the individual.

The Great Mid-life Career Switch: 15 important tips to help you change careers at half-time

This indispensable career book is the first essential tool readers need to purchase to help them plan and execute a successful career change.

WildCoast: Travels on South America’s Untamed Edge by John Gimlette

In this compelling and elegant travel memoir, John Gimlette returns to Guyana, the Wild Coast in South America, to discover his ancestral colonial history – one of brutal, cruel and often uncomfortable truths.

Clean-up continues in wake of floods

Here’s the latest on the aftermath of last week’s floods and what’s being done to try to get the county back to some semblance of normality…
 
Roads
 
Tonnes of sand, silt and debris have been cleared from coast roads by Norfolk County Council as the clear up continues in the wake of last week’s storm surge.

The A149 at Salthouse is expected to reopen to traffic this evening, but there may be traffic control while the clean up is completed.

The B1159 Coast Road is likely to remain closed at Walcott until at least tomorrow evening to allow the removal of sand and debris to continue, and to assist householders in the salvage and clearance from their properties, and work on the power supply.

The A143 at Haddiscoe opened at 10am this morning (Mon) after subsiding flood water allowed the road to be checked and swept. This was followed at noon by the reopening of Blakeney Quay.

Recycling centres

All 20 of Norfolk County Council’s main recycling centres are open as normal and will accept unlimited amounts of household waste, including any that may be storm damaged.

Special arrangements have been made for the disposal of flood damaged household DIY materials. For the rest of December, householders who complete a DIY waste flood damage declaration will be able to dispose of damaged DIY materials without the usual limits or charges being applied. As normal, household waste can only be accepted from householders, not businesses.

People are advised to check with their district or borough council on arrangements for the collection of flood-damaged bulky items.

Norfolk Coast Path

Most of the 67km Norfolk Coast Path remains open to walkers, as do the vast majority of its linked circular walks, although there are some diversions in place. For up to date information go to the Norfolk Trails website at www.norfolk.gov.uk/trails, or follow them on Twitter @NorfolkTrails. Where path diversions are in place, the Environment Agency is urging people to heed closure signs, and not to walk on affected floodbanks.

Avoiding Rogue Traders

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards strongly urges people not to be rushed or pressured into accepting offers to repair damage caused by the floods, and has issued the following advice:

  • Before you organise any repairs, contact your insurance company. Some insurance companies may arrange approved traders to repair damage on your behalf, but if you organise your own repairs, check what will be covered
  • Avoid any cold callers that may turn up offering to carry out repairs
  • We always advise to use known reputable traders you have chosen yourself, or a member of the Norfolk County Council Trusted Trader scheme, who have all been checked by Trading Standards.
  • You can find a Norfolk Trusted Trader on our website http://www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader or by calling 0344 800 8020.
  • Ask traders to provide you with written contact details, and consider getting written quotes (not estimates) from at least three traders where possible. 
  • Keep back part of the cost until the repair job has been satisfactorily completed. This will provide an incentive for the trader to complete the job or put right any problems.

If you are aware of people cold calling at properties offering to do repairs or should contact Norfolk Police’s Operation RADAR on 101. If you need further advice contact our partners the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06.

Norfolk roads update following flooding

Morning everyone, lots of work still going on in the county following last week’s tidal surge and coastal flooding.

Many of the roads that were closed have already reopened but we have some updates for you. The A143 Haddiscoe reopened this morning after flood water subsided and the road was swept and the Quay at Blakeney is expected to open later today after inspection.

Work is continuing on the B1159 Coast Road, Walcott, and the A149 Coast Road in Salthouse where excavators and lorries have been working since daylight to remove sand, silt and debris. The state of these roads will be reassessed later this morning.

Flooding update and disruptions to services – Friday

The message coming through from the Environment Agency and Norfolk Constabulary this morning is that we’re not over the risk of there being further coastal flooding, so please keep informed of the latest updates and advice if you live, work or are due to visit or travel through affected areas. Here’s the latest on the situation from Norfolk Police.

There are currently 22 schools closed in Norfolk today, with many of them being used as emergency rest centres for people evacuated from their homes. Check this list for all the schools affected.

Caister Recycling Centre is also closed today, the nearest alternative sites in Worstead and Strumpshaw are both open as normal (9am – 4pm).

While most train and bus journeys in Norfolk are running, some are still being affected by the flooding and flood warnings and delays are likely on some routes so check with the operator before setting off.

Hope all of those affected by the floods are safe and well.