Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Boost for dentists in Thetford

Dentists get £3m cash injection 14 August 2009 By Lindsey Newton More people in Thetford will be able to access an NHS dentist thanks to a cash injection of £3 million for dentistry across the county. Currently, there is only one NHS dental surgery in the town, serving more than 15,000 patients, and the funding means up to 4,500 more patients per year will be able to see an NHS dentist in Thetford from early 2010. The news, which was announced by NHS Norfolk last week, has been welcomed by health bosses and residents and a tendering process for additional dental services in Thetford has been launched. Ann Piper, 68, of Elm Road, said: "This is brilliant news as there is a real shortage of NHS dental services in the town and many people have to travel to Brandon or Bury St Edmunds to see a dentist. "Private treatment is very expensive, and many people who have paid their taxes for years are not getting the treatment they deserve, so it's good to see that Thetford will benefit from more NHS dental services." William Simper, 61, of Durham Way, said: "This extra money is a really good thing for Thetford, especially as there is only one NHS dentist in the town. "There should definitely be better access to services, especially as the NHS is funded through public money, so hopefully this will go some way to improving the situation." The extra money will be spent on improving dental services by increasing access to NHS dentists, providing more orthodontic services and improving dentistry provision in elderly care homes. Fiona Reynolds, NHS Norfolk's assistant director for primary care, said: "This additional investment will go a long way to helping us to further improve the NHS dental services in our area. "While we have already made significant investments and improvements in recent years and months, having extra money in the budget means we can do even more. "This is part of NHS Norfolk's on-going commitment to improve services in the Thetford area and we will continue to evaluate the need

£400,000 from the Government for Saxon and Abbey Wards

Community radio planned for Thetford 13 August 2009 PLANS for a youth drop-in centre and a community radio station were unveiled last week as part of a £400,000 project to help raise the aspirations of young people in Thetford. North Norfolk charity The Benjamin Foundation is set to expand its reach after successfully getting a share of a government 'inspiring communities' fund. The organisation, which provides a range of services for young people, will team up with the Thetford Education Partnership to try and improve the ambitions of the town's youth. The Benjamin Foundation received £400,000 from a £10m pot of money from the Department for Communities and Local Government to help encourage youngsters in deprived areas to “think big.” A drop-in youth centre and cafĂ©, a training base, a community horticulture scheme, and a youth community radio station are being proposed in Thetford over the next two years. Sharon Matthews, operational manager at The Benjamin Foundation said Thetford was the only place in Norfolk to benefit from an Inspiring Communities partnership. She added that the long-term goal was to establish self sustaining social enterprises run by the town's young people. “This funding represents a wonderful opportunity for the young people in Thetford. The Benjamin Foundation is incredibly excited about being able to meet and work with people in these vibrant communities. We look forward to forging some long lasting partnerships with both individuals and groups living and working in the area,” she said. The charity is set to work with local schools, Fulmerston Family and Community Project, Keystone Development Trust, Connexions Norfolk, Moving Thetford Forward, and Norfolk County Council Children's Services. Christine Davies, manager of the Thetford Education Partnership, added: “We are thrilled and very excited at the prospect of what this grant will bring to the community. We know that in Thetford there is already a great deal of positive activity and that our young people, their families and the wider community have a great deal to offer. This grant gives us the opportunity to build on what is already here.”

Thursday, 13 August 2009

That August feeling....

Everything seems to be moving at a very slow pace at the moment. Not a lot happens in the political and community work world in August. Although there is some news to note; I got into hot water for my recent criticisms of different agencies regarding Redcastle Community Centre. I was quoted in the press articles at saying Peddars Way Housing Association had under-invested in West Thetford. This is not the case, and they took exception to my comments, but are hopefully now aware that they were not my views anyway. Some fairly major news - a funding bid which I supported and assisted with has been approved, £400,000! I will post the press article seperately but it is a major piece of good news for the Saxon and Abbey Wards. We had an interesting Town Council planning committee meeting last night, 12th August. Approximately 20 residents turned up to complain about an application to fill-in and build over a rather nice pond area along Nightingale Way. I had already been alerted that this was being proposed so I was aware of the implications so put my points across at the meeting. We cannot keep allowing developers to cram in housing into every nook and cranny in this town, particularly building on attractive green areas, when so many brown-field, disused eyesores, and unused buildings remain in this town. The planning application for the Charles Burrell sculpture also came up for discussion last night and thankfully, my fellow town councillors rather liked it so I gather.