Big-screen bid to reach public

Television screens which pump out community information, including public health messages and emergency appeals, are being piloted at 10 sites across Lowestoft.

Television screens that pump out community information, including public health messages and emergency appeals, are being piloted at 10 sites across Lowestoft.

The Waveney Partnership Television has been launched following months of planning by a number of community agencies and could be rolled out across the district if the trial proves successful. Films will be played on 30-minute loops and feature a mix of bulletins covering all aspects of life, including emergency messages from the police, fire service and local councils. Public health will also play a big role and the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Primary Care Trust (PCT) will look to tackle issues such as obesity and smoking in its films.

A spokesman said: "The PCT is convinced that community television is a fantastic opportunity to help us get across some key messages and is seeking the help of staff to make it as successful as possible. The material changes every four months and, in addition, we can flash up messages at short notice. So, for example, if a heatwave or arctic snap is forecast, we can use Waveney Partnership TV to ask people to take sensible precautions."

The 10 screens are sited at the Morrisons supermarket, Tower Road; Tesco at Leisure Way; Lowestoft College; Godfrey's in Suffolk Road; Oulton Village Medical Centre; Waveney Sports and Leisure Centre in Water Lane; the Adventure Island play park at Pinbush Road; Chadds department store in London Road North, the Andaman surgery in Long Road and Asda at Horn Hill.

The scheme will cost £175,000 for its first three years and funding has been secured from the Lowestoft Together neighbourhood renewal programme, the county council, Waveney Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, the fire service and police authority.

Lowestoft Together spokesman Bob Russell: said: "This really is local TV, as people will see when they view the screens. It's about the issues that matter in Waveney."

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Waveney MP Bob Blizzard added: "This is about making the latest technology work for the community. We should feel proud that Lowestoft is the first place in the region to get this system."

The television system, operated by the Community Communications Network, has been started up in locations across the country, but arrives in Suffolk and Norfolk for the first time.

Gulshan Kayembe, chairman of the Suffolk Police Authority, said: "Suffolk Constabulary will use this facility to consult with the local population on policing issues that concern them, as well as continuing to promote Suffolk as one of the safest places to live in England."

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