Great Yarmouth needs the third river crossing! It’s been talked about for years, will absolutely unlock the true economic potential of the town – let’s get on with it! #GY3RC

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

We all know that mobile phone signal across Norfolk simply isn’t good enough, that’s why Norfolk County Council’s Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee is looking to commission a piece of work to map mobile phone signal around the county. I’ll shortly be joining Nick Conrad live on BBC Radio Norfolk to explain are proposal.

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

Ambitious proposals to map Norfolk’s mobile coverage revealed Proposals to create a definitive map of Norfolk’s mobile coverage which would be used to press for improvements in the county’s ‘not-spots’ will be discussed next week. At a meeting next Wednesday (8 November), Norfolk County Council’s Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee will be asked to approve plans to commission a countywide survey of mobile voice and data coverage across all major networks providing services in Norfolk. As a minimum, the survey would be expected to capture coverage along all the county’s A and B roads, its major rail routes and stations, key tourist areas and in the urban centres of Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth. Once the results are known, Norfolk County Council intends to use them to strengthen the business case for further investment to boost mobile coverage. It would also enable the council to help telecoms providers find suitable locations for mobile infrastructure, which could include offering access, for a fee, to council or other public sector-owned assets such as offices, fire towers or even wind turbines. Tom Garrod, Chairman of the Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee, said: “I think this is a fantastic proposal and exactly the kind of thing I want this committee and the council to be leading the way on. “We’ve seen a lot of progress with broadband access in the county as a result of our Better Broadband for Norfolk programme but progress on mobile coverage has sadly lagged behind. This survey will be a crucial start in improving mobile phone coverage across the county and networks. “Our survey would arm us with the evidence we need to not only lobby for improvements but also to suggest practical solutions to telecoms companies and bring about real change. I’m excited about the potential of this idea, if the committee agrees with me we’ll move quickly and look to publish the results in the new year.” The Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee is due to meet at 10am on Wednesday, 8 November at County Hall. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

Multimillion pound bid to further improve county’s broadband to be discussed by councillors Norfolk county councillors will be asked next Thursday (12 October) to approve the development of a bid which, if successful, would see significant additional fibre optic broadband cabling installed in the county. The County Council has already submitted an expression of interest in the Government’s Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme, which is seeking to encourage further and faster deployment of full fibre broadband networks across the UK. Now the recently established Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee is being asked to support a bid that could give Norfolk businesses the possibility to access funding to improve their broadband speeds up to one Gigabit speeds (1000 Megabits per second) and establish ‘digital hubs’ across the county to support residents and businesses, among other things. Tom Garrod, Chairman of the Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee, said: “We’re determined to seize every opportunity to improve digital connectivity in Norfolk. Between the ongoing success of our Better Broadband for Norfolk programme and the clear priority we’re placing on strengthening Norfolk’s digital connections following the local elections in May, I think we’re in an excellent position to win money from the LLFN programme. “The projects being proposed have the potential to make a big difference and address some of the challenges we know people living, working and running businesses in Norfolk are facing. We know the Government also has plans to make funding available to roll out 5G mobile data connectivity, which is dependent on full fibre networks, and I’m extremely keen for Norfolk to get its rightful share of this have we have been overlooked in this area for too long.” The LLFN funding could also be used to extend fibre networks to more public sector buildings, such as schools and hospitals, which would not only help to improve their own broadband capabilities but also bring superfast fibre infrastructure closer to many homes and businesses, allowing them to access faster broadband speeds. If the committee approves the development of a full bid to the LFFN programme, the County Council would submit this on behalf of itself, Norfolk’s district councils, universities, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce and other relevant organisations. The bid is likely to be for £13 million and would be submitted later this year. The committee will also consider a report that suggests Norfolk could benefit from establishing a regional anti-fraud hub, which would use technology to identify, stop and prevent fraud. This would be based on a model already established by the London borough councils and would be designed to help tackle fraud and corruption perpetrated against local authorities. Fraud costs local authorities an estimated £2.1bn a year and the report suggests an anti-fraud hub could save Norfolk councils money by enabling information and resources to be shared more effectively to prevent and detect fraud loss, bring fraudsters to account more quickly and efficiently, and improve the recovery of losses as a result.

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

Now about to leave Manchester after a very successful Conservative Party Conference. It was great to meet with Amazon Web Services to discuss how we can do things differently using their cloud based technology at Norfolk County Council. I also met with Microsoft to have a hands on experience of their Holo technology which mixes reality and virtual reality to discuss how it can be used in Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service as well as in our social care teams. Finally, I was privileged to be at Theresa May’s outstanding Conference speech. A cough, Lee Nelson, or a falling letter F failed to dampen her charming, passionate and her full of substance vision for our country. Her speech was everything I hoped for; she had a lot to prove and boy did she!!

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

Norfolk County Council is encouraging people to keep a close eye on the weather forecast over the next 16 hours and be ready to react, as strong winds from Storm Aileen are predicted to hit parts of Norfolk overnight and peaking between 5 – 6am tomorrow morning. Following an amber weather warning from the Met Office, we would urge highway users to take extra care on the roads tonight and tomorrow as there may be fallen trees and branches about. NCC Highways has increased the number of emergency crews working tonight to six to help deal with any issues caused by the high winds. Conditions are likely to make everyday life more difficult for some people in Norfolk. Our highways team is well-practised at dealing with wet and stormy weather and they will work around the clock if needed to keep the roads as clear and safe as possible, but people should still be prepared for potentially hazardous travel conditions. I would urge everyone to keep up to date with the latest weather and travel information so they can make an informed decision about the conditions before they travel anywhere. Please also consider checking on older or vulnerable relatives and friends who may find it harder to cope during wet and wintry weather.” If you have to make a journey during wet and stormy weather, the council’s road safety team has the following advice: * Always drive to the conditions – slow right down and brake gently when road surfaces may have less grip. * Leave plenty of extra time to make your journey – ‘drive to arrive’ and don’t take unnecessary risks. * People may want to plan their route to avoid any steep hills in wet or windy weather – rear wheel drive cars in particular can struggle with traction when driving uphill.

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

New Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee to meet for the first time A group of councillors charged with leading Norfolk County Council’s work to improve digital connectivity in the county and exploit the opportunities new technology presents will meet for the first time on Monday, 18 September. The Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee was created by the council this summer and will be accountable for a number of key areas including: – The council’s and BT’s Better Broadband for Norfolk and its ambition to extend access to superfast broadband to at least 95% of homes and businesses by 2020. – Norfolk County Council’s use of technology to deliver better 24/7 online personalised services – Championing Norfolk’s ambition to accelerate digital and mobile connectivity and lobby Government and the telecoms industry to maximise new opportunities such as 5G wireless technology. At Monday’s meeting the committee will receive a report which provides an update on digital inclusion in Norfolk. Digital inclusion refers to the ability and appetite of individuals and communities to access and use digital media, such as the internet, to support in accessing services, achieving higher levels of education, improving employment opportunities, finding cheaper goods and products, and finding new information, advice and entertainment options. As well as having potentially significant benefits to individuals, it is estimated that local government in the UK could save more than £420 million through digitising transactions with residents. The report sets out that there are a number of potential barriers to digital inclusion. As well as more practical issues, such as physical access and cost, confidence in using the internet and new technology can be a major factor, particularly in carrying out certain functions like banking or buying goods and services. National research suggests that at least 75 per cent of people in Norfolk have what are referred to the five ‘basic digital skills’ – which refer to using technology and the internet to manage information, communicate, carry out transactions, problem solve and create content. However, this still means that nearly one in four people in the county cannot currently do at least one of these tasks. Norfolk County Council has a number of ongoing initiatives that are designed to improve digital inclusion. As well as its Better Broadband for Norfolk programme, the council’s libraries and community learning services (formerly adult education) offer a range of courses to give people of all ages the skills and ability to get online and use the internet confidently and safely. Plans are being made to further extend this offer, including running sessions to help people familiarise themselves with their own devices and working with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and local police to help keep people safe online. Tom Garrod, Chairman of the Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee, said: “Being able to access digital and online services is becoming crucial and we don’t want anyone in Norfolk to be disadvantaged by not having the tools or confidence to make use of them. Between our Better Broadband for Norfolk programme and the digital learning opportunities we provide, we’re making some great strides in improving digital inclusion and I’m keen for this committee to help identify any other areas where we can make a positive impact.” At the meeting, members of the committee will also receive an update on the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme and a report on progress digitising many of the council’s customer facing services. The Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee will meet at 10am on Monday, 18 September in the Edwards Room at County Hall in Norwich. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

Over half of Norwich NDR on course for completion this year The early opening of up to 14km of Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR – A1270) is recommended to Councillors in a report to Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport (EDT) Committee, which meets on Friday 15 September*. At the western end of the 19.5km route, construction has reached the stage where the final surfacing is underway between the A1067 Fakenham Road and the A140 Cromer Road, with crash barriers already going up along the central reserve. If the good progress being made on the NDR/Cromer Road junction is maintained, this section could be ready for traffic by the end of October or early November. There is also the potential for the road to be complete all the way from the A140 Cromer Road to the A1151 Wroxham Road by the end of the year (2017). Most of the carriageway base is now ready for asphalt surfacing, with the base layers already down on much of this section, and final surfacing to start between the B1150 North Walsham Road roundabout and A1151 Wroxham Road. Progress is now being made in a number of places, such as Bullock Hill (north of Norwich Airport), Quaker Lane, and Buxton Road, where utility services (gas mains and sewers) and access requirements have been ‘plugs’ preventing the work needed to establish a continuous carriageway. Completion of the A140 to A1151 section by the end of the year also depends upon major work at the site of the A1270 NDR/A1151 Wroxham Road roundabout, where a nine day closure, starting late on Friday 6 October, reopening on Monday 16 October, is needed to construct a deep drainage culvert. Much of the work to construct the new roundabout will be carried out at the same time. Martin Wilby, Chairman of the EDT Committee, said: “It’s excellent news that parts of Norwich Northern Distributor Road will be ready for traffic by the end of the year, with some on course to be complete well before Christmas. However, opening part of the route could have knock-on effects on existing roads, and I am sure that before giving their approval Committee members will want to be sure that the measures proposed to protect communities such as Weston Longville are adequate. “On the other hand, delaying the opening of any completed section would be very hard on road users who have put up with months of disruption. What we can all look forward to is completion and opening of the whole of the NDR next spring (2018), on or very close to the original programme.” The report concludes that, with measures in place to reduce the impact of localised traffic issues and continued monitoring until the whole road is complete, it is possible to open NDR from the A1067 to A140, and A140 to A1151, as they become available

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

Looking forward to taking calls with Nick Conrad on BBC Radio Norfolk discussing Broadband, mobile coverage, and all things digital later this morning

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

Very best of luck to all those receiving GCSE results tomorrow. If you open the envelope knowing you tried your best, you’ve already succeeded!#GCSEResultsDay2017

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

Search
Disclaimer
The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.