What’s in a budget?

north lodge park

North Lodge Park SurveyThe analysis begins.

Over 350 of you took the time to give us feedback on the ideas we produced in response to a request by NNDC. We’ve now got the enviable task of turning the gear wheels to analyse the results: from the 9 of you who were completely against everything to the 22 who were completely for everything, and the 160 of you who added extra comments. If you don’t see us for a while you know what we’re doing!.

The budget box

north lodge park cromerMost budget statements aren’t as dramatic as those produced by the Chancellor, but they still give indications on thinking, intentions and plans. When NNDC published their budget on Friday (for discussion at next week’s cabinet meeting) there were a couple of pointers of interest.

  1. In the capital spend for 2016/17 there is £121,000 for the development of a 55 space car park on the concrete area in North Lodge Park, subject to a Car Park Order which will involve a full public consultation,
  2. In the supporting description, NNDC announced their intention to issue a Prior Information Notice (PIN) to try and attract a partner who will be prepared to invest in the park and its facilities and attractions.

In our meetings with NNDC about the future of North Lodge Park we have always made it clear that we think the development and maintenance of the Park should be considered as a whole. This remains our position: we find it difficult to consider whether or not there should be a car park in North Lodge Park without seeing the bigger picture. Yes, there are some arguments that would support the case for enabling some parking – particularly disabled parking – in North Lodge Park (and equally strong arguments against) but without the context of knowing what else is planned, for us the debate is not complete.

Over the coming weeks we will be meeting with NNDC to try to find out more about their plans and will keep you updated. If you hear any details please let us know so we can develop a complete picture for any discussion we have.

damage in North Lodge ParkUnfortunately…

Cromer isn’t immune to acts of vandalism, and I’m sorry to report that recently North Lodge Park has seen a couple of incidents: in December there was some graffiti in the Park and around the Doctor’s Steps, and last weekend some of the garden furniture in the Rose Garden and the A frame (made for us by Matt Annison) was ruined overnight.

Annual General Meeting

Don’t forget the AGM for the Friends of North Lodge Park will be on Wednesday 23rd March at 7.30pm in the Community Hall.

We expect this year to be an exciting one in the Park and we need your help to make it happen. The Friends are only as strong as you make it with your support – and as we go into the new year we would like to add to the committee to help with the tasks we need to work on this year.

If you have the time, energy, skills and passion for the Park (is that all of you?) please come along and help. Pop into the cafe (we will need more help in the cafe as summer approaches) and talk to one of the committee about how you can get involved.

Hope to see you soon.

Barry Meadows
Secretary to chief cook and bottle washer,
Friends of North Lodge Park

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