‘Inept’ North Norfolk District Council slammed over delays to Sheringham toilets and lighting

A council has been labelled 'hopeless' after it emerged that a new seafront toilet block and eco-friendly lighting on Sheringham promenade will be severely delayed.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) initially pledged to open the replacement toilets at the east prom and complete the lighting by the beginning of the tourist season.

But at Tuesday's Sheringham Town Council annual meeting, Liberal Democrat district councillor Richard Smith said he had been told that the toilets would now not be ready until early July - while the lighting had been put back until September.

Mr Smith said: 'This news is very concerning as this project has been consistently delayed. Initially we were told that the loos would be in place by Easter and then at the end of April, and now it has slipped to early July.

'There is a real danger that there won't be permanent facilities for the summer season.'

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He said NNDC was looking at getting portable toilets to bridge the gap until the new ones were completed.

The east prom lighting scheme, which will see eco-friendly lighting installed, was delayed because NNDC had to re-tender the contract.

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Mr Smith said the council had decided that the scheme should be deferred until September so that it did not have an impact on the tourist season.

He said: 'The east prom desperately needs these new lights, especially with the summer season fast approaching. With works being deferred until September we are effectively having to have another season without lights.'

Sheringham mayor Doug Smith said the delays by NNDC were 'hopeless'.

And Peter Cox said he was 'disappointed', and questioned whether further delays would see the toilet scheme delayed until 'next spring'.

Deputy mayor David Gooch said: 'There's probably nothing that we can do to change it, but I think we should convey our total dissatisfaction over this entire process.

'Originally we were told the toilets would be ready by Easter. They keep on being put off. This shilly-shallying is doing no good whatsoever. NNDC should be prepared to receive some flak.'

Stephen Frazer said the 'ineptitude' over the projects was 'unacceptable'.

Members agreed that once they received a letter from NNDC about the issue, the mayor and town clerk Denise Medlar would compose a 'suitably strongly-worded reply'.

The new toilet block is being constructed to replace the previous block, which was sold at auction last May for �104,000. It was snapped up for more than double the guide price by Cawston builder Nick Willan as a 30th wedding anniversary gift to his wife, Sue.

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