Flags, rescheduled meetings and Dele Alley - how councils in Norfolk are marking the World Cup

PUBLISHED: 17:30 09 July 2018

St George's flag flying over Norwich City Hall.

St George's flag flying over Norwich City Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

High-flying flags of St George, a possible big screen for the final and even a pledge to name new roads after players.

These are just some of the ways World Cup fever has affected councils across Norfolk, as the Three Lions roar in Russia.

The heroics of Harry Kane and Co so far in the tournament have made it difficult to avoid, with fans across the county taking to the streets, pubs and clubs to follow every kick.

And the councils are happy for it to stay this way on Wednesday, with no council-organised public screenings organised for the clash with Croatia.

However, Norwich City Council has hinted at the possibility of an event on Sunday, should Gareth Southgate’s men reach their first World Cup Final since 1966.

A spokesman said: “We are looking at what might be possible for Sunday, but that will depend on us being able to get a big screen, as they are high in demand. Fingers crossed England get through to the final.”

Meanwhile, a meeting of the city council’s cabinet at 5.30pm on Wednesday - 90 minutes before kick-off, is to go ahead as planned.

Gail Harris, cabinet chairman, said: “Cabinet will be going ahead as planned on Wednesday. However, it is a short agenda and we hope to be finished in time for us all to enjoy the match.”

The same, however, cannot be said for Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s development control committee, which has been re-scheduled for Thursday, July 19 at 6.30pm.

A spokesman said: “Development control is a public meeting and it was felt that a clash with a major national sporting event would not be conductive to support public attendance.”

The GYBC spokesman added: “The borough council is very much rooting for England - we even have the England flag flying proudly outside of the Town Hall as a symbol of support.”

A cabinet meeting of Waveney District Council, scheduled for Wednesday evening has also been postponed.

Mark Bee, chairman of the committee, said: “Given the considerable public interest in England’s World Cup semi-final, we have taken the decision to move the meeting to 4pm on Wednesday, July 18.

“We want members of the public wishing to come to the meeting to also enjoy this historic match and postponement of the meeting is probably fairer than bringing it forward at such short notice.”

Meanwhile, councils across the county are encouraging people to get out and enjoy the game in a variety of venues across the region.

A spokesman for South Norfolk District Council said: “While wholeheartedly supporting the national team, the council does not have any plans to organise a public screening of England’s appearances in the semi-final and then final of the world Cup.

“We will however consider naming the streets of our next Big Sky Development site after the team when they bring home the trophy. Kane Rise, Dele Alley or Maguire Close could be coming to somewhere in South Norfolk soon.”

A spokesman for West Norfolk Council said: “We are recommending people support the host of organisations and businesses who already have plans to screen the game, such as Flux Arena, Lynnsport, local pubs and so on.”

A spokesperson for Breckland Council said: “Although Breckland Council is not directly organising public screenings for the FIFA World Cup 2018, residents will be able to watch England bring it home in many of the fantastic pubs and venues across the district.

“We know that many, many people have turned out to watch the Three Lions’ successes so far and we hope Breckland residents will continue to roar the players to victory this week.”

A North Norfolk Council spokesman added: “We don’t have any plans to screen the semi-final, but the England bug has caught on across north Norfolk as much as anywhere else.

“We’re sure pubs and clubs across the district will be enjoying a roaring trade as we move one step nearer to football coming home.”

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