Councillor 'incandescent' over second-home owners breaking Covid rules

File image of the beach at Overstrand, and inset, councillor Angie Fitch-Tillett. 

File image of the beach at Overstrand, and inset, councillor Angie Fitch-Tillett. - Credit: Archant

A north Norfolk district councillor said she was “incandescent” that people including many second-home owners were continuing to come to the coast despite the government’s warning to ‘stay local’ during the third coronavirus lockdown. 

Angie Fitch-Tillett, who represents Poppyland ward and is North Norfolk District Council’s portfolio holder for coast, said: “I’m personally horrified that people are totally and utterly ignoring the advice that’s been given.

"Thankfully I live on the edge of a village, Overstrand, where about 20pc of the properties are empty most of the time. Suddenly, they’ve all got cars in the drive. 

“Do they really want to kill people? Because that’s what they’re doing. It shows a total lack of personal discipline.”
Mrs Fitch-Tillett said she sympathised with people who lived in city flats, but everyone had to stick to the rules while they were needed.
It comes as Norfolk police have taken a more robust approach to enforcing the Covid regulations, issuing scores of fines in recent weeks. 

Among those fined were a father and son who travelled from London to stay at their second home on the North Norfolk coast.
Another north Norfolk district councillor, Nigel Housden, said an issue which had been overlooked was that second-home owners were usually required by their insurers to inspect their properties every 30, 60 or 90 days, which could be influencing some owners to break the rules and travel to Norfolk.
But Mr Housden said he was “not entirely sympathetic” with people who were fined.

He said: “We are a holiday destination and we need the income that generates. But we’re not in a holiday period, we’re in an extremely serious pandemic and different rules have to apply.”
Roger Arguile, a town councillor at Wells, said the ever-rising proportion of second homes in the town was in itself a much bigger issue.

Mr Arguile said that although a recent survey indicated 37pc of dwellings in Wells were second or holiday homes, he believed the figure was closer to 50pc.
He said: “People come here for the quaint little streets and beautiful, wild marshes. But they have to realise they can’t just take what they want, they have to give as well, and accept that this is a community. We want people to come and stay and contribute to that.”  

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