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Plan to ‘instil confidence’ as visitors set to return to Norfolk’s coastal areas

PUBLISHED: 17:26 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:26 06 July 2020

North Norfolk District Council has stressed the need to instil confidence to boost the tourist economy. Pictured, Cromer Pier. Photo: Lydia Taylor

North Norfolk District Council has stressed the need to instil confidence to boost the tourist economy. Pictured, Cromer Pier. Photo: Lydia Taylor

Lydia Taylor

A Norfolk council has stressed the need to “instil confidence” to boost the tourist economy, as visitors begin returning to the area’s beaches and coastal towns.

Sarah Butikofer, Liberal Democrat leader of North Norfolk District Council. Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE CANDIDATESarah Butikofer, Liberal Democrat leader of North Norfolk District Council. Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE CANDIDATE

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has outlined measures to ensure tourists are able to safely return to the county’s coastal beauty spots amid the beginnings of the relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

A report, published ahead of the council’s cabinet meeting held on Monday, July 6, highlighted the council’s ‘You are Welcome’ reassurance programme to support local retail, hospitality and tourism businesses as they re-open in the coming weeks.

The council will offer help and advice with social distancing measures, hand washing facilities and marketing initiatives, and hopes to create “safe, attractive town and seafront environments”.

READ MORE: Will customers have the confidence to return to tourism businesses?

Council leader Sarah Butikofer told the cabinet: “We need to instil confidence and make sure people feel they can come back and be safe while they’re with us.

“This is one of the areas of our local economy that has suffered demonstrably and was recognised as one of the areas of the county that was hardest hit.”

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She said council workers had been erecting signage in line with government guidance, installing hand sanitation stations and helping with wider changes to roads and street furniture.

But she added: “With tourism such an important part of our local economy, I have been dismayed at the treatment some of our officers and contractors have been subjected to. It is not always a welcome message but they are trying to help keep everyone safe and I would ask everyone to treat them with respect.

READ MORE: Tourism bosses welcome staycation boom set to hit Norfolk

“The work is difficult and guidance is constantly being changed by central government.”

But Christopher Cushing, leader of the Conservative group on the council, said: “I think this council was somewhat slower than Broadland District Council in terms of getting decals and sanitation out.”

He asked the council leader and chief executive for reassurances these were all now place.

Mrs Butikofer said delays were due to the district having nine market and coastal towns requiring such measures, as opposed to Broadland’s two, but she said decals and sanitation points were now installed.

Councillors unanimously voted to note the report on the district’s move to the recovery phase.

READ MORE: Tourism bosses predict £1.8 billion loss to local economy as situation reaches ‘critical’


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