This time last year when we were about to formally launch the Friends of North Lodge Park we couldn’t have predicted what a roller-coaster year of ups and downs it would be. The committee you elected in March has tried to steer the difficult path through the challenges, keeping the future of the Park central to our agenda. It is your continued support in all forms (volunteering, donations, messages, hugs, etc) that help us through the low points and we hope you have enjoyed the highs points with us. The year ended on a high when NNDC offered us a 12 month extension to the licence for the cafe.The 747 of you who responded to our survey in the Spring gave us a strong steer how you want the Park to develop (no mention of roller-coasters!) and we hope we have reflected this in the ideas we put to you in early December – you have until the end of January to comment on these ideas .
The proposals are very much ideas and not a ’blue print’ as claimed by the press! After our consultation closes, we need to work with the North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), who own the Park, as closely as possible to see how the ideas you support fit with their plans. The Friends can only advise and we expect there will be some compromise to get the best overall plan for everyone.
We know that council budgets are being cut drastically so do not expect NNDC to finance the improvements we would like. Whilst fund-raising isn’t the main purpose of the cafe (it’s to provide a friendly meeting point for the community and visitors, thereby bringing life back into the Park), any money raised is a starting fund for the changes. Unless we find a rich benefactor willing to invest in the Park we know only a fraction of the ideas will come to fruition, and the timescales for implementation will be set by our ability to raise the necessary funds. That’s reality (more hugs needed!). This is an exciting opportunity for us all to work together and create not just a better park but a better community.
EDP Community Chest
We have a box in the cafe to collect the tokens for the EDP Community Chest. Please cut out the coupons and bring them to the cafe. If we collect 500 in a month we can apply for a grant to do work in the Park.
WEDNESDAY 23rd MARCH AT 7.30
As well as the normal agenda items necessary for an AGM we will be looking at the potential plans that come from your input into the published ideas, and how we can put these into place – please come along and join the discussion.The committee needs more active members to help manage the Park and the plans. Please don’t step back – if you are interested, have the time, energy and ideas come and talk to us; as you know, members of the committee are often in the cafe and always willing to take off their aprons to speak to you.
Last year Budgens of Cromer chose us as the local group to donate the money they raised from the sale of second hand books, and I am pleased to say that this has enabled us to purchase 5 picnic tables for the Park. Cromer Trophies have very kindly donated plaques for the tables and all being well the tables will be installed in time for the spring picnic season!
Following the request in the last newsletter a number of you expressed interest in applying for the role of Cafe Co-ordinator. We have spoken to all the candidates and decided to appoint Lizzie Knight to the position, with a review before we go into the new licence in April. I hope you will join me in wishing her all the best in the role.
Here’s to a positive year in your Park at the heart of Cromer