News from West Norfolk Borough Council
As your councillor I like to involve our community in all developments initiated by The Borough Council. The Borough Council has decided to pursue proposals to partially redevelop the Corn Exchange in King’s Lynn t to include two small cinema screens As councillor I welcome your views on this. I would add that I voted to support it in Council. The vote was split along party lines and in this instance I voted with the Conservative majority, as I believe did one other Independent Councillor. The EDP reported this project in May “The detailed proposal allows for a 58-seat screen and a 52-seat screen cinema to be developed by converting a seldom-used part of the upper bar area. It includes up-to-date projection, acoustic sound improvements, quality seating. It would see one of the region's biggest entertainment venues turning to the big screen in a bid to diversify its offerings in an investment which could cost £1m ( subsequently reported as £1.6m as the roof of the Corn Exchange needs urgent repair), but would then bring in some £200,000 a year. The town currently has the Majestic, a three-screen independent cinema on Tower Street” The overall intention is to promote Kings Lynn as a destination …. more people in town means more spending on other leisure activities, and this supports businesses and employment. Improving the attractiveness of the town is a long term process and adding an upmarket “ boutique” cinema to the attractions is a part of this process. Other schemes such as works to improve the feel of the main shopping areas and improvements to the waterfront have the benefit of external grants. The cinema proposal does not - it will be funded by borrowed money. I am going to set out the main issues in I hope a non partisan way, although as I said I support the proposal. Firstly the Corn Exchange is an underused asset. In particular it has a large area above the central foyer which is barely used. Currently, the Corn Exchange requires a subsidy of almost £300,000 pa and if it was able to offer new events then this would be reduced and even eliminated. An economic activity there will not entail significant extra running costs as would be the case if a new customised cinema was to be erected. The business model is such that the costs for new films are typically a charge by the distributor of a % of the actual takings, so if a film bombs and no-one goes to see it then the cinema has not incurred any film rental costs. Secondly, The Corn Exchange has expertise in handing large numbers of customers for events, and the infrastructure to support this. Clearly management would need to organise timings such that intervals between films and other activities are avoided! It is the case that the roof of this wonderful building is leaking and the façade needs repair, and this necessary work will be done at the same time as the cinema is constructed. The proposal also includes a lift to give wheelchair bound patrons access to the top floor of the building. Thirdly, King’s Lynn has a successful mainstream cinema, The Majestic which offers a sound value for money proposal… currently before any concessions and special offers seats are £4.50, making the Majestic very competitive with other large cinemas in the area. It has I believe three screens and may introduce a fourth screen in the future. We should note that the owners of the Majestic support the Councils’s proposal which for me is a key factor in my support. The example is Bury St Edmunds where the small Abbeygate cinema co-exists very well with the larger new cinema, and indeed the intown choice seems to benefit both cinemas and the film going public. I am limited as to what I can say as the details of the scheme remain confidential (notwithstanding the recent publication by the EDP of the architect’s drawings) and the public were excluded from the full council debate. By the time you read this it may be that additional information is published but in the meantime I would welcome views of our community, for example, will it make it more likely that you will visit Kings Lynn to see films, what you would like this proposed scheme to offer. If you are for or against please let me know why. I will forward all responses to the Cabinet member responsible for overseeing this proposal. As your Borough Councillor I want to bring issues like this to everyone’s attention in a timely manner so that I can reflect your views in debates…even when I might not agree with them!
Recycling and waste disposal is a big issue for us all, and waste collection and disposal is an important part of the Councils work…. What can we do? The best thing we can do is minimise our waste – for example, do your own composting, reuse materials, look at repairing items rather than scrapping them. Lots of things with a useful economic live can be sold ( see Methwold auction on Mondays). Think about the disposal of a product when you buy…if it likely to be single use might it be better to buy higher quality multi use products? With items you don’t want, you can offer them “ free to a good home” on Facebook or GumTree so local people can use them. Often, you can leave items you don’t want outside your home ( but not on the street) marked free…you will be amazed how quickly such items will go!! All this is positive recycling, and it reduces the burden on the waste collection services. The second thing we must all do better is make sure our waste is pre sorted correctly. We have two bins, so make sure you know what goes in each bin. And remember, in the green recycle bin things should not be bagged to make sorting easier, clean and dry. A lot of us do rinse recyclable plastic containers before putting in the bin, this is a good practice to encourage! Things to put in the green bin include • newspapers, magazines and telephone directories • paper and clean cardboard • plastic bottles (such as drinks, detergent, shampoo and plastic milk bottles ) • steel and aluminium food and drinks cans • empty aerosols • glass bottles and jars • plastic food pots, tubs and trays (such as yoghurt pots, ice cream containers and margarine tubs) • waxed cartons and tetrapaks (such as those used for juices and soups) • foil and foil trays • envelopes greetings cards. junk mail shredded paper and wrapping paper The following items can't be recycled and go in the black bin • plastic/carrier bags • polystyrene • glass such as drinking glasses, Pyrex ware, and broken window panes • textiles • food waste (please put this in your food bin) • garden waste (this can be collected via the brown bin scheme) • batteries • books The contents of the green bin end up at the Norse Recycling plant in Norwich where it is sorted and then despatched to processors for recycling. Finally, some items we need to take to the councils recycling centres. The closest to us is Crimplesham PE33 9DX , which is part time ( Friday to Monday only). Crimplesham does not accept hazardous waste, which includes paint. However, there is a regime of “ amnesty days” when specific waste sites will accept such items…look on the NCC website for further details. You can buy compost at Crimplesham produced by the council from garden waste for £3.50/40 litre bag. Crimplesham does not have a” Reuse shop” – the nearest to us will be at Saddlebow PE34 3RD Household waste is accepted free of charge, but DIY waste is charged for by bag or item. Metals are recycled and there is no charge for these. Hazardous waste is mainly chemical waste – eg part full aerosols insecticides, oils etc. A full list is on the website! Reducing Single-Use Plastics Plastic Pollution is a serious problem for our oceans and local environments. One way you can combat plastic waste is to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that you use. From reusable cups to shampoo bars, you can reduce your plastic consumption in so many ways. Here are 3 easy ways to reduce your single-use plastic use: 1. Say no to straws; unless you need to, say no to straws in drinks, alternatively why not consider a reusable straw. There are ones available made from paper, metal, bamboo or even glass. 2. Swap plastic shopping bags with reusable ones. Reusable bags can be made from canvas, hessian or you could even make your own from old clothes. 3. Buy a reusable cup or bottle. Some coffee shops or cafes will even offer a discount if you purchase a takeaway drink in your reusable cup. The average UK household uses around 500 plastic bottles per year, but only recycles half of them. Bottles make up 67% of household plastic packaging collections That’s 21 million bottles collected for recycling. ALL types of plastic bottles can be recycled, including those used for cosmetics, shampoo, shower gel, juice, water, fizzy drinks, squash and more! In Norfolk you can also recycle plastic pots, tubs, trays and punnets, that’s packaging items such as yoghurt pots, ice cream and margarine tubs, meat trays and fruit punnets. Just remove any shrink wrap and film and any absorbent packing or bubble wrap material. Norfolk’s PET plastic bottles and HDPE milk bottles are currently recycled to make new food grade PET and HDPE bottles – making it a closed loop system. Please make sure any plastic container or bottle is clean, dry and loose (not bagged) before it goes in your recycling bin.