'People will be disappointed' : North Norfolk reacts to new tier 2 restrictions

Cromer Pier. Picture: David Bale

Cromer Pier. Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk MP has said he is "extremely disappointed" the county has been placed into tier 2 restrictions.

Duncan Baker, MP for north Norfolk, whose constituency has recorded some of the lowest infection rates in the county, had been calling for Norfolk to be placed into the lowest tier of restrictions.

Following the announcement the county would be in tier 2 restrictions when the current lockdown ends, he said it was not what he had hoped for.

He said: "My first view was disappointment at being placed in tier 2, currently north Norfolk continues to have some of the lowest infection rates in the county."

Mr Baker said although the newly announced restrictions were tougher, which he had pushed for, he was pleased the county had been viewed in isolation and not included in a larger region.

He said: "Clearly the government has been cautious in its approach and what appears to have not gone in our favour is that the percentage of tests in the county and the case rates in the over sixties.

"In my constituency, people recognise that north Norfolk has been very low and so people will be understandably disappointed."

A Norfolk MP has called on the government to introduce online VAT taxes to battle the economic and s

Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk. - Credit: Archant

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In Cromer,  Martin Rodwell, the owner of Breakers Cafe in Cromer, said he was unsurprised by the news the Norfolk had been placed into tier 2, but felt north Norfolk was being penalised for outbreaks elsewhere in the county.

He said: "I think it was expected that Norfolk would go into tier 2, I think the frustration is that North Norfolk hasn't actually had a major covid-19 issue so I would have hoped that it could have been even more regional. We've maybe been put into tier 2 because of other towns."

Martin Rodwell, owner of the Breakers Café at Cromer, with his traffic light entry system. Picture:

Martin Rodwell, owner of the Breakers Café in Cromer. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Mr Rodwell said he would be reopening his cafe from December 3, having been completely closed since November 5 and that tier 2 would have no major impact on the day to day running of his business.

He said the most pressing issue was the financial support given to businesses by the government going forward.

"As much as I welcome staff receiving furlough, it's a complete waste of money if there's not a business for them to go back to...we need to know from a business point of view what the future is in terms of our outlays, VAT, business rates, it's absolutely crucial to be able to plan for our futures."

Richard Leeds, the Mayor of Cromer said: "I'm personally of the opinion that local people should have a choice but obviously you can't do that.

"I'm a little disappointed but that's because we have a lot of pubs that are drinks only but there are some which have been using their initiative and doing meals."

He said although the news was disappointing, Cromer would accept it: "North Norfolk has done very well in keeping the coronavirus rates down. 

Mayor of Cromer, Richard Leeds. Photo: HUBBA ROBERTS

Mayor of Cromer, Richard Leeds. Photo: HUBBA ROBERTS - Credit: Hubba Roberts

"We will accept it because we are all reasonable people up here but it's been going on for a long while now.

"Cromer has a lot of independent shops and they've all done their bit to keep going and change the way they work."

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