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Coastal erosion and ageing population highlighted as key issues for Norfolk

Figures from across Norfolk addressed the Future Summit hosted by Norfolk County Council. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Figures from across Norfolk addressed the Future Summit hosted by Norfolk County Council. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Archant

A disappearing coastline, an increasing ageing population and fast evolving technology – these are the main challenges Norfolk faces over the next 20 years, a summit has heard.

Norfolk County Council at County Hall in Norwich. Picture: ArchantNorfolk County Council at County Hall in Norwich. Picture: Archant

Norfolk County Council, district councils and organisations have pledged to tackle these issues and bring technological improvements to the region.

Businesses from across Norfolk, along with representatives from the education sector and groups, including Extinction Rebellion, met at the county's first Futures Summit to debate the issues.

County council leader Andrew Proctor said: "The future brings challenges as well as opportunities.

"Issues like our ageing population, climate change and increased automation mean that we cannot afford to stand still.

MP Clive Lewis addressing the Future Summit hosted by Norfolk County Council. Picture: Norfolk County CouncilMP Clive Lewis addressing the Future Summit hosted by Norfolk County Council. Picture: Norfolk County Council

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"By looking ahead and understanding these issues, we can work together on a bold and collective response - shaping future investment and enabling us to get the best outcomes for the people of Norfolk."

The summit was joined by three of the county's MPs with Norwich South's Clive Lewis, Norwich North's Chloe Smith and North West Norfolk's James Wild.

It heard the key issues the council believes will affect Norfolk over the next 20 years.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Picture: ArchantAndrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Picture: Archant

These include a 15pc population increase and a 96pc increase in over-85s, 75pc of new jobs will be in Norwich, posing issues for rural areas with 30pc automated, the largest rises in temperature nationally and coastal marshes in north Norfolk could be lost to the sea.

County Hall looks to overcome these by supporting entrepreneurs in their bid to set up in Norfolk and offer workers of all ages an opportunity, developing a sustainable infrastructure and environment plan and work to make "Norfolk a place to be born, thrive and live out long lives full of opportunity".

Mr Proctor added: "The council has acted as a strategic convener, bringing together leaders and influencers to draw on their expert knowledge, but we will only succeed if we are all committed to work better together, for the long term."

To read the summit report and for more information go to www.norfolk.gov.uk/together.

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