John Lee takes over coastal portfolio at North Norfolk council

North Norfolk District Councillor newly elected chairman John Lee.
Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

North Norfolk District Councillor newly elected chairman John Lee. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

The north Norfolk coastline is both beautiful and fatal, claiming the life of a man last year and stranding many others in precarious situations.

Highlights of John Lee's year in office: Pictures: NNDC

Highlights of John Lee's year in office: Pictures: NNDC - Credit: Archant

But the man newly-installed to look after the stretch is as prepared as any for the task ahead.

John Lee is North Norfolk's new coastal portfolio manager, and having worked as a Cromer fisherman for nearly forty years, says he knows the coastline 'inside out.'

Mr Lee, 53, knows he has many challenges ahead. He said: 'We'll be working on protecting and refurbishing our sea walls and beaches.

'There's a project in the pipeline at the moment at Bacton. Because there's a major gas line coming into the shore we're looking at recharging the beach with sand.'


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The owner of the J. Lee Crabs Stall in Cromer continued: 'We're also looking to begin phase two of repairing the sea wall in Cromer, as well as looking at projects in Mundesley. Our biggest challenge in all of this will be finding the funding for the work.'

As the grandson of RNLI local legend Henry 'Shrimp' Davis, son of lifeboatman John Lee, and a former lifeboatman himself, the father-of-three says that visitor's safety to Norfolk's beaches is an issue 'close to his heart.'

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He said: 'I've seen first-hand the dangers of the ocean here. Around 20 years ago I was working for the RNLI in Cromer and went out to a nine-year-old boy who had drowned just off the pier.

'It's all about education. We work closely with the RNLI coastguards and lifeguards, but a lot of the time people aren't aware of how the tides work on these beaches.

'They wade out and before they know it are up to their chests, or they checked the tide timetables but didn't realise how quickly it would come in.'

The born-and-bred Cromer resident continued: 'When I was growing up there were signs all the way along the Cromer pier telling people not to swim more than 20 yards away from the area where the lifeguards could see them. I'd like to see a return to that.'

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