More than 200 at Cromer Youth Football Club demo
More than 200 youth footballers, families and supporters turned out for a loud and colourful protest this evening.
The event was organised to support Cromer Youth Football Club's quest to find a home ground in the town after almost 30 years.
Protesters gathered ahead of Cromer Town Council's Monday meeting, which included an item to discuss the future of the town's football ground - and possible plans to relocate Cromer Town FC to a complex shared with youth teams.
And it seemed to have an impact, as town mayor Greg Hayman made 11th-hour changes to a planned resolution and the council agreed to call on Cromer Youth, Cromer Town and other parties to meet with it 'to look at the possibility of finding an amicable long-term solution to the patchwork of current football provision'.
Before the meeting, children in the distinctive yellow and black Cromer Youth kit, plus banner-waving parents, booed Mr Hayman and cheered their supporters as they entered the town council chamber in North Lodge Park.
Julie Hardingham, whose daughter Holly plays for Cromer under 11 girls, said: 'The children of Cromer need to be noticed. It's not about kicking Cromer Town off Cabbell Park. It's not us V them.
'We are told to not have our children in front of the computer all the time, but people make it so hard.'
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Bob Brown, who has grandchildren involved with the youth teams and who helped run the youth football club when it was established, said: 'They've got to have a home in Cromer. Why should they have to go out of the town to play football?'
The youth football club currently has no home in Cromer despite years of searching. Its teams play at East Runton and Northrepps and its 'home' tournament has to be played at Knapton.
Club chairman Chris Lightfoot read out a statement at the meeting, saying the lack of a club base in the town was a scandal. The proposals to change part of the Cromer Football Club ground into a doctors surgery and relocate the club to Roughton Road were 'a great opportunity'.
It has arisen through a quirky clause in the lease on the Cabbell Park football ground on Mill Road, which means it is believed to run out 21 years after the death of King Edward VII's last grandchild, King Olav who died in 1991 - meaning the club could be evicted in January 2012.
But the senior club has voiced resistance to the move, airing concerns about its cost and viability. And the town's new mayor Mr Hayman said he believed the clause may not yet have been triggered, and wanted to keep the club in the heart of Cromer.