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Call to tackle health problems

PUBLISHED: 09:01 09 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:53 03 July 2010

Norfolk is a great place to live but more needs to be done to tackle health problems for people in Norwich, King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth and ongoing difficulties finding low-cost housing - particularly in rural areas.

Norfolk is a great place to live but more needs to be done to tackle health problems for people in Norwich, King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth and ongoing difficulties finding low-cost housing - particularly in rural areas.

Those were among the findings of a new Oneplace report which gives an independent overview of local public services in the county.

Based on the combined assess-ments of six watchdogs, including the Audit Commission, they found that four councils - Norfolk County Council, Broadland, South Norfolk and West Norfolk - perform well, and Breckland, Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and Norwich City councils perform adequately.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service also performs adequately.

In Suffolk, the county council and fire authority perform well, while Waveney District Council performs adequately.

But across the board, the verdict was that children and young people were not doing well enough at school, and training, transport and housing also needed to be improved.

The new system awards green and red flags to high-performing areas and those deemed not up to scratch.

In Norfolk, that saw a green flag for 'Your Norfolk, Your Decision', a £200,000 scheme to give power to people to make decisions in their community.

By contrast, in Suffolk there were three green flags for coastal protection, developing green technologies and tackling street prostitution in Ipswich following the murders of five women, but there were red flags for learning and skills, poverty in rural areas, and a lack of high-value jobs.

Sue Jewkes, Oneplace spokeswoman for Norfolk, said: “For most people, Norfolk is a great place to live. It is very safe, it has the lowest crime rate in England, has fantastic coastline and countryside and some beautiful towns and villages. But life isn't great for everyone. People in some parts of the county, like Great Yarmouth, Norwich and King's Lynn, aren't as healthy, face higher levels of crime, do less well at school and are more likely to be out of work. And finding somewhere affordable to live continues to be a problem for local residents, especially in the most rural areas.”

Daniel Cox, leader of Norfolk County Council, and chairman of the county strategic partnership, said he hoped people took the trouble to go to the Oneplace website and see for themselves what it has to say about the county's public services.

To see the results, go to www.direct.gov.uk/oneplace.


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