Sunday 14th April 2019 – Overstrand Court Hotel Auction, Parish Meeting, Sand Martins, Bus Service, Parish Council Litter Pick and The Strand Club

There has been plenty going on during this week, so I will be concise as possible.

Overstrand Court Hotel was set to go ‘under the hammer’ at the Auction House on Wednesday. According to their website the hotel was sold after auction for an undisclosed amount.

On Wednesday evening, we attended the Parish Meeting. With tables set out in the hall, this was a far more informal meeting than those we have attended in previous years. There were the usual reports from the Chairman and Clerk of the Parish Council and the District and County Councillors. In addition, Community Grant cheques were presented to North Norfolk Community Transport and the Cromer Group Practice – Patient Participation Group, plus various groups in the village gave short reports. Displays in the Parish Hall, showed some of the village groups’ activities plus there were refreshments available. Despite this and all the work that went into the evening, I felt there was a very poor turnout of villagers.

Good news about the sand martins, the netting is being removed and already there have been videos posted on Facebook of the birds returning to their burrows. Admins for the Facebook group, Save the Bacton Sand Martins, have acted impeccably, despite receiving some inappropriate and derogatory posts on their page. Interviews with campaigners for various television companies where conducted civilly, with acceptance that the project needs to go ahead. The plight of the sand martins has certainly caused a stir. The Marine Conservation Society and TV presenter and naturalist, Chris Packham, have spoken positively on behalf of the sand martins. As for the District Council, yes they are removing the nets but they should have apologised for not following the RSPB’s guidance.

I couldn’t have been more wrong when I said ‘probably not too much of a problem for majority of the villagers’, about the buses no longer running along the High Street from 21st April. Instead, it has caused a bit of a storm. A resident has set up a petition to present to the Parish Council who will hopefully apply pressure for the rerouting to be reversed.

The Parish Council organised a village and beach litter pick which took place on Saturday. This started at ten but rather than wait until then, when the tide would be halfway in, we went down to pick rubbish off the beach just before the 7 a.m. low tide. We covered in front of the revetments and a couple of groynes going west, leaving behind at the bottom of the cliffs a large green ‘thing’ which was far too heavy and cumbersome for us to manage. This was later brought up by the volunteer pickers and left with the other rubbish for collection. Being on the beach ahead of the main litter pick, gave us an opportunity to check for ordnance. The Coastguard have warned, following the recent high tides, ordnance has been washed up along this part of the coast. I passed this message on to the Parish Council, together with an explanatory sheet but felt it wise to check in advance of the pick. Our fellow Beach Monitor, living at the other end of the village, will have also been aware and checked east towards Sidestrand. I am at risk of sounding derisory but this is certainly not my intention; I am aware that the volunteers did a brilliant job. I am merely going to state; in our experience, we can pick the village or the beach in the

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