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Jake’s big cash
dream comes true
Weather game – Page 4
Eastern Daily Press
WEST NORFOLK & FENS
TODAY’S PULL-OUTS: WHAT’S ON, SPORT
THE COUNTRY’S BEST-SELLING REGIONAL MORNING NEWSPAPER
Monday, January 12, 1998
t ...and delivered in four years, promises Norfolk health chief
Work starts on
By BILL WOODCOCK
Work on the new £214 million privatelyfinanced Norfolk and Norwich Hospital will
start today after Tony Blair announced the
go-ahead from Japan.
The long-awaited project was finally given
approval after bankers came up with the money
to trigger the start of construction at Colney,
The scheme – involving months of complex
negotiations – was given the political green
light by the Prime Minister yesterday during
an interview with BBC TV’s Breakfast With
Frost in Japan.
Patients will move into the 809-bed
hospital, replacing the Norfolk and Norwich
and West Norwich hospitals, in four years’
time, possibly earlier.
The final deal was greeted with a mixture
of delight and relief among health chiefs in
Whitehall and Norfolk.
Health minister Alan Milburn, who has
backed the Private Finance Initiative
scheme since Labour won last May’s
election, said it was “great news” for
“I am delighted construction will now start on
the largest contract in the largest new hospital
building programme in the history of the
National Health Service,” he said.
He said Norfolk had waited too long for new
facilities but local people could now look
forward “to the best modern health care
t TURN TO PAGE TWO
DELIGHT: Malcolm Stamp and Tony Holden celebrate the announcement that work
on the new hospital will start today.
Killing raises Ulster fears Canaries get a thrashing
The Stormont talks on the future
of Northern Ireland resume today
with the Progressive Unionist
Party agreeing to take part.
But the Government’s troubled
peace process is under renewed
pressure after the killing of
another Catholic by hit-and-run
The UVF’s political represen-
tatives agreed to return to the
negotiating table after the makeor-break visit to the Maze prison
by Northern Ireland Secretary
Yet the murder in Belfast of
father-of-two Eddie “Junior”
Enwright has heightened fears of
more LVF-inspired bloodshed.
t FULL STORY – Page Five
Norwich City suffered a second
successive crushing defeat when
they were thrashed 5-0 by
Wolverhampton Wanderers at
Molineux on Saturday.
The Canaries – beaten 3-0 by
Second Division Grimsby in the
FA Cup seven days earlier –
trailed 4-0 at half-time after
a wretched showing in the
25 minutes leading up to the
Manager Mike Walker later
admitted he was scared Wolves
might hit double figures, but in
the event the home side added
only one goal to their tally after
the break as striker Dougie
Freedman completed a hat-trick.
t SEE SPORT SUPPLEMENT
WEATHER 2 CHURCH VIEWPOINT 8 TIM LENTON 9 YOUR MONEY 12-13 LEADERS/LETTERS 14 ANNOUNCEMENTS 18 CLASSIFIED INDEX 22
Eastern Daily Press, Monday, January 12, 1997
The money is in the
and all systems
can look forward
the best modern health
Michael Stamp, NHS trust chief executive
Health minister Alan Milburn
New hospital deal
signed and sealed
t FROM PAGE ONE
Malcolm Stamp, Norfolk and
Norwich Health Care NHS Trust
chief executive, said the signing of
the contract ended a challenging
period of negotiations.
He said: “The money is in the bank
and all systems are go. Four years
from now we will be moving into a
new hospital at Colney Lane.
“We are getting a new hospital that
is fit for the next century. We are
going to bring in a lot of new
technology and very high quality
While the cost of the hospital had
increased from £193 million in
November 1996 to £214 million, Mr
Stamp said the cost to the NHS “has
not moved a penny.”
He said: “The price we pay is
exactly the same as when we signed
in November 1996. The consortium is
bearing the extra £20 million cost.”
Tony Holden, vice-chairman of the
trust, said the deal ended unfounded
speculation about the project and
provide a superb new health asset.
“We are going into the 21st century
with a state-of-the-art hospital and
the best facilities in the area and that
has to be good news.”
East Norfolk Health Authority chief
communities in Britain would “give
their right arm for the opportunity of
a new hospital”.
“There is now guaranteed funding
and in 25 or 30 years of discussion
VISION: Artist’s drawing of the new hospital at Colney.
about a new hospital we have never
had that,” he said.
“It emphasises the need for us to
ensure all the other services in the
East Norfolk area are in place as well
as the district general hospital.
“A lot of communities across
Britain would give their right arm to
have the opportunity of building a
major new hospital at this point
where medical technology and the
pattern of care is changing so fast.”
The hospital is being built for the
trust by Octagon Healthcare, a
X LOCAL SUMMARY
construction firm John Laing and
facilities management company
Philip Rees, of Octagon, said he
hoped the Norwich scheme would
be the first of many across the
“The complexity and scale of this
trailblazing project make it by far the
largest ever private investment in a
new hospital in the UK,” he said.
“We are delighted that negotiations
have been concluded and that we are
now able to start work on a scheme
X CONDITIONS AT LUNCHTIME TODAY
With forecaster Paul Davies
Still very mild, although
it will be fairly cloudy
for much of the day and
there is also a chance of
some light rain or
drizzle as well.
Today: Mainly cloudy
with some light rain or
drizzle at times, but
some places could stay
dry all day.
Wind: Light to
Max Temp: 12C (54F).
Tonight: Staying on the
cloudy side with some
light rain or drizzle in
Wind: Light to
moderate south or
Min Temp: 6C (43F).
cloudy and misty with
some light rain or
drizzle at times.
Max Temp: 11C (52F).
Tonight: Cloudy with
outbreaks of light rain
or drizzle, but some
places will remain dry.
Wind: Moderate south
Min Temp: 7C (45F).
Winds south or
south or southwest force
three or four,
Visibility poor in coastal
mist or drizzle and seas
smooth or slight.
WEATHERCALL . . . . . . 0891 500764
MARINE CALL . . . . . . . 0891 500765
WESTERN EUROPE . . 0891 500735
C MEDITERRANEAN . . 0891 500737
FRANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . 0891 500736
N AFRICA . . . . . . . . . . . 0891 500982
E MEDITERRANEAN . . 0891 500734
USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0891 500983
Calls for services cost 50p per minute at all times.
Only available for callers with Touch-Tone phones.
(deg) (deg) (hrs)
29.80 (1009) 9.3
29.83 (1010) 11.9
Rainfall for month to date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47.2
Mean rainfall for January . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58.7
J. G. Hilton, Observer,Morley Research Centre.
that will bring massive benefits to the
people of Norfolk.”
Laing’s project director David
Hunter said his company was
delighted to be in a position to start
Norwich South MP Charles Clarke
said he was glad the uncertainty
about the future of the scheme was
“I, and I am sure everyone else in
Norwich, will be working as hard as
we can to ensure the new hospital
meets the needs of the whole
community in the most effective
way,” he said.
But the Keep Our Hospital in
Norwich Campaign, which wants the
new hospital built on the existing
Norfolk and Norwich Hospital site,
attacked the go-ahead.
Denise Carlo said the decision to
build at Colney went against the
wishes of most people.
“Labour has put high finance before
the needs of the local community. It
has let people down, in particular
those on lowest incomes who will
suffer from lack of access to an out-oftown hospital,” she said.
Norfolk health watchdog Mike
Tomlinson said he was “delighted
and relieved” about the go-ahead.
He said: “It has been a long, hard
struggle and we have not at all times
taken everyone with us, but this
hospital will be a tremendous benefit
to everyone in Norfolk.”
t NEW CHAPTER – Page Eight
t COMMENT – Page 14
X AROUND BRITAIN
50 sunny am
52 sunny am
57 rain pm
54 rain pm
50 sunny am
50 sunny am
55 bright am
X HIGH TIDES
05.57 6.4m 18.14 6.6m
06.04 4.7m 18.19 4.8m
08.31 2.5m 20.44 2.6m
09.06 2.4m 21.19 2.6m
09.41 2.5m 21.54 2.7m
Tidal predictions computed by the Proudman
Oceanographic Laboratory: Copyright reserved
A young man and the mother of
two little girls died in a head-on
collision on the A149 King’s Lynn
eastern bypass on Saturday
Yesterday flowers marked the
spot where car drivers Gary
Oakes, 20, and Julie Miller, 39,
both from Lynn, died.
witnesses to the crash which
happened between the Knights
Hill and Queen Elizabeth Hospital
roundabouts at about 7.45pm. The
road was closed for four hours.
The driver of a third car
involved, Richard Southgate, 23, of
Hall Lane, West Winch, was
“comfortable” in hospital yesterday with a fractured wrist and cuts
to his face.
Mr Oakes lived with his parents,
Gary and June, and brother, Dean,
13, at Temple Road on Reffley
He had worked with his father in
the family business, Sanderson
Gaywood Park High School.
described him as a quiet and
likeable person, a normal young
lad who liked nice cars and
Mrs Miller’s husband, Les, is
well known as the DJ at the town’s
Top of the World nightclub and an
announcer at Lynn Football Club.
The couple, of Garwood Close,
Fairstead, had recently holidayed
in Australia with their daughters,
Hannah, two, and Ellie, four,
returning in time for Christmas.
Today is Mr Miller’s 34th birthday.
Mrs Miller, who was alone in the
car, was driving from her home to
the Templemead estate to pick up a
relative to babysit.
She had recently returned to
work as an accountant’s clerk at
Lynn after her second pregnancy.
t Witnesses to the accident are
asked to contact PC Mark Beer at
Lynn police traffic department on
Amsterdam 10 50
Buenos Aires 29 84
Casablanca 19 66
Hong Kong 24 75
27 81 cl
20 68 rl
17 63 f
07 45 r
22 72 f
07 45 c
03 37 sn
00 32 cl
04 39 c
10 50 cl
09 48 cl
Washington 11 52 pc
09 48 pc
Key: c-cloudy; cl-clear; ffair; pc-partly cloudy; r
rain; sn-snow; s-sunny;
hl-hail; d-drizzle; shshowers; th-thunder.
Austria 19.96 schillings
Denmark 10.88 kroner
Greece 453. drachma
Hong Kong12.13 dollars
N Zealand 2.71 dollars
Portugal 288.89 escudo
Switzerland 2.31 francs
Figures: Thomas Cook
Eastern Daily Press, Monday, January 12, 1998
Picture: EDP LIBRARY
ROMAN CATHOLIC VIEWPOINT
Good news for
nlike most years, this Christmas the TV schedules
did not include The Great Escape, a film that endures
more repeats than any – except perhaps The Sound of
Music. For most of us, Christmas is a great escape from the
dullness and routine of life.
Now it’s over. My true love has duly sent me the Twelve
Lords a-leaping and, with them in the deep freeze, I am
resuming my turkey-free diet. Christmas this year
produced a famine which lead to riots – not food but of toy
Tellytubbies. I watched one of their shows and can say with
confidence that the dialogue was more true to life than that
of most soaps from Down Under.
I also noted that astronomers have discovered planetary
systems in stars as near as 14 light years away. They
suspect that there may be intelligent life in outer space. As
yet there is no sign of this on earth.
So Christmas is over and all that remains are my broken
New Year’s resolutions and my credit card account winging
its way to me. The message of Christmas remains intact,
however. For some this would be peace and goodwill but
how many of us know what peace really is? I see true
personal peace as freedom from anxiety and a personal
security (the word meaning “without cares”).
The words we want to hear from the doctor, the dentist,
the bank manager, the car repairer, the lawyer and above
all from the people we have hurt – or who have been hurt by
our actions or words or our lack thereof – are: “It’s all right
– there’s nothing to worry about.”
It is obvious that sometimes the aforementioned people
cannot in all honesty say these words. Some illnesses are
serious, some overdrafts out of hand, some quarrels
devastating. How can we be at peace with such fears
hanging over us?
No wonder we want the escape of Christmas from reality.
Yet Christmas is an escape to reality. Fear cannot be
avoided: it must be faced and beaten.
The real message of Christmas was proclaimed by John
the Baptist some 30 years after the birth of Jesus. Let’s face
it, John was an eccentric. He lived on a diet of grasshoppers
and honey. This diet, with its lack of fibre, must have played
havoc with his digestion which may account for his
somewhat dyspeptic warnings.
However, his message was basically: “Sin will be forgiven
to all who apply.” Or if your prefer: “Sinners, it’s all right –
there’s nothing to worry about.”
The word “sin” has been trivialised. I even remember a
lady I knew who wore a perfume called My Sin. Far from
leading to sin I reckon that if poured into the appropriate
place it would have killed all known germs.
However what about “sin” in our lives? We can convince
ourselves that some dishonesty or treachery is all right
because “everybody does it”.
A dishonest insurance claim or tax return doesn’t matter
because “they get enough out of me already”. We can ignore
injustices as long as they are not too near us. Prejudice and
intolerance do not qualify as sins surely?
And what’s wrong with enjoying reading about the sins of
others in certain sections of the Press? But do we not feel a
trifle uneasy when we have, dare I say it, sinned?
There is nearly always guilt felt at funerals. Some of it is
justified, for not all families are noted for their peace and
goodwill, nor are some friendships. Jesus acted as a magnet
for sinners who recognised that they were sinners.
He was born among thieves – the shepherds of the time
were not noted for honesty and were social rejects – and he
was crucified with thieves.
t this point saints may turn to the sports pages:
sinners, please read on. Well, fellow sinners, the bad
news is that sin can play havoc with our personality,
especially if we choose to ignore or excuse it.
The good news is that there is an infallible cure for it. We
start by owning up to ourselves, forgiving ourselves,
making amends as best we can and forgiving others who
have offended us. God’s forgiveness is ever available.
In hope (in the real sense) that when I breathe my last, fall
asleep, pass away, shuffle off this mortal coil, or (in plain
English) die, I shall hear the words: “It’s all right – there’s
nothing to worry about.”
This is much the same as the message Julian of Norwich
received: “All shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of
things shall be well.”
That, dear fellow sinners, is the abiding message of
SIGN OF THE TIMES? The controversial hospital is ready to take shape at Colney.
Clean bill of health
sought for hospital
n four years, or even less, the new
Norfolk and Norwich Hospital will
open its doors to its first patients,
and a new chapter in the history of
health services in Norfolk will begin.
Giving birth to this bright new child for
the National Health Service in the new
millennium has produced severe pangs
which some felt were serious enough to
cause a messy abortion.
Deadlines for getting the massive
funding in place have come and gone
since November 1996 when a commercial
contract in principle to build the hospital
under the former government’s Private
Finance Initiative was signed.
The final deal which puts the finance in
place to build the hospital has now been
struck between the banks, the Norfolk
and Norwich Health Care NHS Trust and
Under the PFI arrangements – endorsed
by Tony Blair’s Government after the
election – private consortium Octagon
will build the 809-bed hospital at Colney
with cash from the banks.
The hospital trust, which runs the
Norfolk and Norwich, West Norwich and
Cromer hospitals, will “rent” the hospital
from the consortium over 60 years and
run the medical services.
The trust will continue to employ all the
clinical staff and set the quality
requirements and operational policies for
all areas of the hi-tech hospital.
The consortium will provide support
services such as cleaning and will be
responsible for maintaining grounds and
Apart from that information, the details
of the contract signed by the hospital
trust with the private sector have
remained firmly out of the public domain.
The term “commercially-sensitive” has
been deployed by health chiefs and
Department of Health spokesmen
whenever questions have been raised
about financial arrangements being made
in the name of the taxpayer.
There are more than 160 separate
documents comprising “the contract” to
finance and build the hospital, and Mr
Blair’s policy of more openness in the
NHS appears to be having some impact.
Malcolm Stamp, chief executive of the
Norfolk and Norwich Health Care NHS
Trust, said the trust would announce the
details of how much rent – it is
technically called a “usage fee” – it has
contracted to pay for the hospital.
He said: “We will declare it in our
annual accounts when we are paying it
The money is in the bank, the bulldozers are
ready to dig and Norfolk can now rest
assured that a district general hospital for
the 21st century will rise from a green field
site on the edge of Norwich.
Health Correspondent BILL WOODCOCK reports
but we will make a full declaration in
eight to 10 weeks’ time which is
consistent with the Government’s policy
of openness which we fully support.”
The health chief is confident the deal to
finance, build and run the new hospital is
in the public interest and that it is the
way forward for major public sector
Mr Stamp said: “In four years’ time we
will be walking into a new hospital we
have all been talking and writing about
for many, many months. Now it is real.
“When you are dealing with social
infrastructure renewal – and health is
only a part of that – then we have
demonstrated that this system can work.”
e said while the cost of the project
had risen to £214 million from £193
million in November 1996, the cost
to the NHS had not changed.
“While £214 million is the final cost of
the project, the key point is not to
concentrate on that. The price we (the
trust) pay is exactly the same as we signed
up to in November 1996,” he said.
“Even though the cost of the project
overall has gone up, the cost to the NHS
has not moved a penny. The consortium
is bearing the extra £20 million cost.”
Mr Stamp said: “I am able to say that
this is a better deal for the public than
would have been gained under the
traditional public sector arrangements.
“In order to get this deal approved there
should be some security and confidence
in the fact that it has stood the
independent tests of HM Treasury and the
“To procure such a large scheme under
the old rules would probably have taken
five years to be allocated to a capital
programme and another 10 years to build.
“Under this project we get the money up
front, it is not subject to political vagaries
and the scheme will run its entirety and
be completed within four years.”
Rob Smith, the trust’s project director,
said: “We have all worked hard because
we believe that a new hospital for the
people of Norfolk and Norwich is
something that is needed to bring highquality services together on one site.
“We are delighted that we have got past
the final hurdle which will put all that in
place, and we believe it will be built
efficiently and effectively.
With John Laing Construction building
the hospital, Mr Smith believed building
work may be finished in a shorter time
than the four years allocated.
“Laing’s will be on site doing work on
Monday and from there on it will build up
quickly until we see turf-cutting and topsoil stripping.
Mr Smith said:“My background mixes
both private and public sector work and I
always believed that it was eminently
possible to do this. It is good to blend the
skills of the private sector with those of
the public sector.
“We have done that effectively and I
believe the NHS must look at schemes
like ours and look how it can improve the
deals in future and get more hospitals
appropriate for the next century.”
Campaigners in Norwich still oppose
siting the hospital at Colney and want a
new hospital on the site of the existing
Norfolk and Norwich.
Denise Carlo, spokesman for the Keep
Our Hospital in Norwich campaign, said:
“Plans for a hospital at Colney have been
driven by a few empire builders behind
closed doors, supported by the Labour
“Labour ministers claimed they were
unable to influence the hospital decision.
Now Tony Blair is claiming success in
securing a PFI hospital at Colney.”
But David Walker, chief executive of
East Norfolk Health Authority, which
will be the largest single purchaser of
health care at the new hospital, said:
“This is an opportunity for people to put
differences of opinion about the whole
thing behind them.
“They should now focus on making the
most of this marvellous opportunity.”
t COMMENT – Page 14
Eastern Daily Press, Tuesday, January 13, 1998
in a million
The rise and rise of
Or are you still just a
lonely Sad Singleton?
SEE OUR ESSENTIAL
NEW SECTION . . . TOMORROW
t Contractors take over the site at Colney which will be home to the new N&N
Five questions we asked
about the new hospital
By BILL WOODCOCK
This is the face of the new
Hospital which will rise over
the next four years from a 63acre greenfield site at Colney
on the edge of Norwich.
Contractors have taken
over to start “setting out” the
hospital, which could be
ready in under four years.
construction work on the
£214 million privately-funded
project was put in place by
bankers at the end of last
And, as the EDP reported
yesterday, the Norfolk and
Norwich Health Care NHS
Trust signed a contract with
private consortium Octagon
It will be the largest and
most complex hospital so far
under the Government’s
Private Finance Initiative
which taps private funds for
public sector projects.
The 809-bed hospital will
replace the Norfolk and
Norwich and West Norwich
hospitals and will include the
latest technology and quality
environments for patients.
Malcolm Stamp said: “We
delivering high quality care
in an environment that is at
the forefront of health
The EDP asked five key
questions as building work
What will happen to
Norwich and West
Norwich hospital sites?
The two sites are not
owned by the Norfolk
and Norwich Health
Care NHS Trust which
operates them but by the
Secretary of State for Health
and the NHS Executive.
The NHS Anglia and Oxford
regional office at Milton
Keynes will be responsible
for advertising and selling
the two sites. The funds will
go into the national NHS pot.
A planning brief will be
drawn up by Norwich City
Council to give potential
buyers an idea of what uses
will be permitted on “a very
important city centre site”.
Why 809 beds for the
The figure of 809 beds
has been arrived at
because that is the
number that East Norfolk
Health Authority on behalf of
purchasers of services at the
hospital has decided will be
needed for the future.
The original plans were for
701 beds but health chiefs
decided in August 1996 that
because the number of
patients being treated in
hospitals was rising, more
beds would be needed.
Why is the hospital
costing £214 million,
£20 million more than
the last published figure?
About £3 million of it
is for “variations” to
the original plans
which were asked for by the
Norfolk and Norwich Health
Care NHS Trust, which will
rent the hospital from the
These “variations” include
building a new road on the
site in line with NHS
guidelines, and improving
internal design which adds
about £300,000 to the annual
The other £16 million is to
meet “the extra costs of
development and delays” and
is being met entirely by the
A trust spokesman said:
“The key message is that the
fee that we pay is exactly the
same as we agreed in
November 1996 to the
What happens to all
the equipment in the
two existing hospitals
which has been bought as a
result of charitable giving?
The trust will draw up
schedule in about
three years’ time which will
identify all the equipment
which will be transferred to
the new hospital.
It will include items bought
as a result of public fundraising
giving. Whether a piece of
equipment is transferred will
depend “on how useful it will
be in the new hospital”.
What are the access
arrangements to the
One access via Colney
modifications to the
Road junction to improve
visibility and safety. Parking
for 2350 cars and a “quality”
bus service to link the city
subsidised by the trust. The
details of this will be agreed
closer to the opening of the
to look like
Eastern Daily Press, Wednesday, April 15, 1998
ALL SET TO GO
t Earth-moving machinery prepares site for new Norfolk and Norwich Hospital
Key to health 2002
Aerial picture courtesy of MIKE PAGE
Architects’ drawings: ANSHEN DYER
This giant scar scraped out of
the landscape is the latest
aerial view of the building site
that will become the new
And before a single brick of
the £214 million medical
facility has been laid, the EDP
today pinpoints the position
of some of the key hospital
buildings on the 63-acre
The private consortium
Octagon Healthcare, led by
the Laing Group, is building
the 809-bed hospital for the
Norfolk and Norwich Health
Care NHS Trust.
has been laying out the site in
preparation for building work
which main contractor John
Laing Construction expects to
start this month.
Rob Smith, the hospital
trust’s project director, said
trust staff were helping to
complete the internal design
of the hospital while external
By BILL WOODCOCK
Seventy “user groups” made
scientists and heads of
department were working
with Octagon’s architects to
make sure the interior would
“They are ensuring that all
the equipment that will go in
appropriately specified and
located within departments,”
said Mr Smith.
“Very shortly we will start
to turn our minds to the
services will be transferred
from the existing hospitals
(Norfolk & Norwich and West
Norwich) to the new one.
“It is likely that the moves of
departments and specialities
between the hospitals will
be phased over a period of
about six months.”
effectively decanting one
hospital into another had
been done in the NHS before
but not quite on such a large
“The last large one to
happen was the Chelsea and
Westminster Hospital in
London and we are in contact
with them to learn the
lessons,” he said.
“The official completion
date – which includes the
building being ready and all
support services including
catering, portering, cleaning
Octagon has to deliver being
in place – is January 9, 2002.
“But there are already
consortium is on programme
to improve on that and deliver
ahead of time.”
About 60 people are working
on the site but the number
will rise to around 800 at the
are indications the consortium is
programme to deliver ahead of time
Hospital trust project director Rob Smith
Eastern Daily Press, Friday, September 11, 1998
t Visit by Health Secretary will mark progress on £193 million N&N
Picture: ALAN HOWARD
Picture: BILL SMITH
SITE: A crane towers over
steel building framework.
By HELEN ASHWORTH
Progress on the £193 million
Norwich district hospital will be
officially marked by Health
Secretary Frank Dobson when he
visits the city on Monday.
Mr Dobson will unveil a plaque
work on the new 809-bed Norfolk
and Norwich Hospital at Colney.
The hospital, on a 63-acre
greenfield site, is in its eighth
buildings are now rising from
the ground as sub-structure
operations and piling proceeds.
The project was dogged by
delays after problems pulling
together the finances with the
private consortium funding the
But now contractors Laing say
building work is well under way.
“We are making very good
progress and the site is fully
Geldard, spokesman for Laing.
Structural work is ahead of
schedule and Laing expects to
AERIAL VIEW: The new Norfolk and Norwich Hospital starts to take shape at Colney.
have 600 people employed on
the site during the next two
Parking for staff and patients
will increase from around 700
spaces at Norfolk and Norwich
Hospital to some 2350 at Colney
and the hospital should be ready
for use by January 10, 2002.
Mr Dobson will join Sir Martin
Laing, chairman of John Laing,
at the site for the ceremony.
Robin Pooley, chairman of
Norfolk and Norwich Health
Care NHS Trust, and Richard
Jewson, chairman of the Octagon
funding consortium, will make
speeches and Mr Dobson will
plant a tree.
GROWING: One of the main buildings rises behind scaffolding.
Hospital lifeline appeal
goes to Prime Minister
Campaigners fighting to save Dereham
Hospital have written to Prime Minister
Tony Blair and Health Secretary Frank
Dobson to seek their support.
Concern is growing that a shake-up of
Norfolk health services will put the future
of the 60-year-old hospital under threat.
Thousands of people have signed petitions
at Dereham and the Hospital Friends have
sent letters to the ministers.
President Freda Abell said: “Virtually
everyone I meet in the town is talking about
the hospital and they cannot believe it may
A public meeting is to be held at Dereham
Memorial Hall on Tuesday, September 22,
at which the proposals will be outlined.
Mayor Chris Thorne told a meeting on
Tuesday: “We need to make sure everyone
is there. We should try to increase the size
of the hospital, not just try to save it.”
Robin Goreham said: “People have been
queuing in my shop to sign petitions and I
cannot believe the response.”
Mary Hodson said the hospital was on a
site which was prime for redevelopment.
She said many community facilities would
be moved elsewhere if the hospital closed.
The council was sent a letter by local GP
Dr Chris Abell who criticised the proposals
as “narrow-minded and unimaginative”.
“They completely fail to take account of
the wider picture of changes in health care
and the hopes and needs of the people of
Dereham and surrounding areas,” he said.
Dr Abell claimed: “The real agenda here is
to sell off buildings to finance current
The health authority board will make its
decision on November 25.
Dereham Hospital has 75 beds, including
the Ashill specialist unit for the
rehabilitation of the elderly.
Under the proposals, those would be lost
and replaced with 10 to 15 community beds.
The Ashill unit would move to Norwich.
Recycling site investigation call
Councillors look set to visit a former gravel
pit in Wymondham to investigate an
application for a recycling plant.
The gravel extraction, which has sparked
complaints from residents for 10 years
about excessive noise and traffic, has been
changed into an inert waste recycling
business by Woody’s Haulage.
The change was not authorised by the
county council and now the site, on Bridge
Road, could be under threat if the
application is not agreed.
A report to today’s meeting of the county
council’s planning sub-committee outlines
objections made by Wymondham Town
Council and local residents and businesses.
The report also recommends a site visit.
The report by the county’s director of
planning, Martin Shaw, says: “Finding
suitable sites for recycling can be
problematic; however, a balance must be
drawn between the need to encourage reuse and recycling, and the need to protect
environmental and residential amenity.”
A strong squad of 13 has
been picked to steer troubled
North Walsham to a brighter
The blend of youth and
experience plays its first
fixture on Thursday against
economic decline and shop
The team has been selected
as the steering group for
North Walsham’s regeneration initiative – a bold bid
to breathe new life into the
A clutch of councillors,
and members of grant aid
bodies aims to give impetus
to a list of proposed projects
which North Norfolk District Council has drawn up to
revitalise its biggest town.
Among the suggestions are:
t A waymarked town trail;
t Improvements to visitor
The committee holds its
Methodist Hall at 2pm on
Thursday. All welcome.
for town hall
Tourism bosses in West Norfolk are to seek
Lottery cash to revamp King’s Lynn town hall as
a visitor attraction.
The Town House Museum could be integrated
into the town hall complex, while the £15,000
review will also look at ways of developing the
Tales From The Old Gaol House attraction.
A report before the tourism committee next
week says the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund
can be made in the summer.
It is suggested local archives could be brought
together under one roof at the town hall.
The review, which is jointly funded by West
Norfolk council and Norfolk County Council,
will also consider the long-term future of Lynn
The Museums Committee next Wednesday will
appoint two councillors to sit on an interview
panel to pick a consultant.
t The meeting will also hear that work is well
on track and Lynn Custom House will open as
the new tourist information centre in March.
Eastern Daily Press, Tuesday, December 29, 1998
Eastern Daily Press, Tuesday, December 29, 1998
FLAGSHIP PROJECT t Deep concerns at prospect of heavy traffic
congestion and troublesome journeys to new N & N for staff, visitors and emergency patients
Hospital on nightmare road
Picture courtesy of Mike Page
BIRD’S EYE VIEW: An aerial view of the new hospital which is taking shape at Colney on the outskirts of Norwich.
It is a pioneer of a controversial government
scheme to open public buildings with private
cash and a flagship hospital for the new
But almost a year after Prime Minister Tony
Blair gave permission for a new Norfolk and
Norwich hospital to become Britain’s first to
be built under the private finance initiative, it
has become dogged in recriminations.
Although the method of funding, whereby
the private sector pays for the building and
the money is recouped over 60 years in rent is
contentious, it is concerns over access that
have led to deep discontent in communities
living around the £193 million hospital at
Colney on the outskirts of Norwich.
Anxieties that staff, visitors and even
emergency patients will face nightmare
journeys on inadequate and congested access
roads are mounting day by day.
While potential access roads and improvements have been mooted, the plans have led to
stirrings of discontent in the leafy communities on the southern fringe of Norwich.
This month, scores of protesters gathered at
Cringleford, outraged at a potential second
access road to the hospital from the A11 to
Colney Lane in the district council plan which
could threaten the village green.
Colney Lane meanders north to the hospital
site. Initially a sleepy back route fringed by
private roads and big houses behind thick
hedges, it then crosses an open landscape
dominated by the futuristic science blocks of
Norwich Research Park.
Even this is dwarfed by the steel skeleton of
the 809-bed hospital, which is on course to
open in 2002. While cranes are in incessant
action on the skyline there are no signs of
activity in the fields to denote new roads.
At present, no new links have planning
permission, even though the main artery is
the Norwich to Watton B road, a surprising
situation given that the building site is just a
By DAVID MACAULAY
few hundred metres from the A47 southern
At present the few hundred metres could be
hundreds of miles. The Highways Agency has
decided a new junction would be too close to
existing roundabouts on the A47 and has so
far proved impervious to pressure.
While the short stretch of Colney Lane from
the B1108 Watton road to the hospital is due to
be dualled and the Watton road itself widened
and improved between the southern bypass
and Hethersett Lane, local campaigners are
adamant this will do little to save their last
vestiges of rural tranquillity from an
onslaught by traffic.
Indeed, it is seen as the ultimate irony that
the first hospital scheme to be hailed as a
shining example of New Labour’s partnership
with the private sector should come with all
the baggage of Margaret Thatcher’s now
discredited love affair with the private car.
The Labour Government, like its Tory
predecessor, continued to push for a scheme
which fitted its radical economic policies
while running against the flow of its own
In 1996, John Gummer, then environment
secretary, said: “Revitalising town and city
centres is more than a question of shopping.
“Important as shopping is to our town and
city centres we also need to make them the
focus for investment in offices and leisure.
There are also places for public facilities –
hospitals, higher education and the offices of
But in the absence of alternatives in the city,
plans to relocate the N & N to the kind of outof-town location where a supermarket would
be frowned on continued.
In a 1996 report, Martin Shaw, Norfolk’s
director of planning and transportation,
concluded: “The Colney site is less accessible
to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport
than the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital but, in
contrast to the existing hospital, car parking
at Colney will be on a very large scale.
“The proposed out-of-town location is therefore likely to lead to increased car usage, even
if high quality bus services are provided.”
Graham Martin, chairman of Colney Parish
Meeting, which represents 120 people, says:
“What is happening is nothing short of a
“A few years ago the hospital envisaged
there would be an extra 5250 vehicle movements a day. That was before the hospital
decided on another 100 beds and suddenly
accommodation for doctors.
“If we consider the expansion of the
research park and the new sports park at the
University of East Anglia, 10,000 extra
vehicles a day is a conservative estimate and
it could be as high as 13,000.
“As far as Colney goes we will be seeing an
environmental nightmare. A recent study
suggests there will be queues totalling in
excess of four kilometres on the B1108,
creating delays of more than 30 minutes at
Problems are also looming at the other end
of Colney Lane at Cringleford.
County councillor and Tory group leader
Alison King has been campaigning for a better
access for over 10 years.
She said: “The hospital is already advanced
but we are still in limbo. This needs to be
sorted out immediately.
“What we are seeing is a patchwork of
infrastructure improvements proposed by
private developers. It is all so piecemeal. The
whole thing has turned into a colossal
Mrs King is sceptical that increased bus use
will help alleviate the congestion problems.
“Bus fares went up recently. It is not a cheap
way to travel,” she said.
“There is a growing fear that not just visitors
and staff but emergency vehicles will find it
hard to get to the hospital. Access will be
particularly difficult from the heavily
populated parts of northern Norwich.”
University ward councillor Roy Blower
added: “How can you have a hospital without
access? We will have the hospital but not the
infrastructure. It is the biggest faux pas ever.”
Although South Norfolk planners have
assured Cringleford residents that damage to
the green can be avoided by a proposed road
from the A11 to Colney Lane which would also
serve 720 new houses, a stream of protests to
Norwich South MP Charles Clarke continues.
This proposal would involve a new roundabout on the A11 and remains controversial.
A proposal by local landowner Martin Kemp
for an access road off the Thickthorn roundabout to the hospital, which also involved a
supermarket, has been rejected by South
Norfolk Council but Mr Kemp is appealing.
While Mr Martin is concerned this would
open up for development the land north of the
southern bypass, he believes it is a more
sensible option than the Cringleford idea
which has official support.
He has questioned the role in the saga of the
planning and transportation authorities.
“My concern is that Mr Shaw did not press
hard enough for a second access back in 1996
which allowed South Norfolk planners to leave
it out of the requirements,” said Mr Martin.
Even this year, with pressure growing for an
alternative access to the hospital directly from
the A47, which would also cross Mr Kemp’s
land, the county council’s speed of response
has been called into question.
David Boswell, Mr Kemp’s transport consultant who last week presented to the South
Norfolk plan inquiry his “nightmare
scenario” of traffic congestion including three
to four-kilometre tailbacks on the B1108, said:
“This has been a matter of people dragging
“In March, members of Norfolk County
Council instructed the officers to investigate a
direct access to the A47, but there was no
contact with the Highways Agency until July.
“Mr Kemp would be interested in a dialogue,
but no one has yet approached him.”
Mr Shaw said: “The county council has
raised the issue of direct access from the A47
with the Highways Agency on several
occasions. But, quite apart from the Agency’s
strong opposition, it has to be recognised that
there were major practical problems to
achieving a direct access, not least that the
health authority did not own the land.
“The land acquisition would not only have
added substantially to the cost of the link but if
the county has to use compulsory purchase
powers a lengthy delay would be inevitable.
“The other major aspect is public transport.
The hospital has made available a substantial
six-figure sum to support public services with
the maximum subsidy over five years, which
may extend to 10 years if it is not all taken up.”
However, Mr Shaw admits that without a
second access there will be “significant
congestion” at peak times.
The weight of opinion is finally moving
towards the more direct access from the A47
with Mr Clarke, the junior education minister,
and South Norfolk Tory MP John MacGregor
due to take up the issue with roads minister
Lord Whitty on January 19.
“It seems very foolish not to be building an
access here when the A47 is in spitting
distance,” said Mr Clarke’s spokesman Peter
Mr Martin agrees. “If a Martian were to land
he would see this as the obvious solution,” he
The joke doing the rounds is that a Martian
would probably find it easier to get to the
៓ NEWS IN BRIEF
Eastern Daily Press, Wednesday, October 31, 2001
HEALTH ᔡ It’s a big operation but everything is in place
Picture: JAMES BASS
WYMONDHAM: A criminal barrister
was banned from driving for a fortnight
and fined £335 yesterday after
admitting speeding at 102mph on a
dual carriageway stretch of the A11 at
Wymondham on September 3.
Gregoary Perrins, from north London,
told Central Norfolk magistrates at
Swaffham that he was commuting
between home and Norwich Crown
Court while involved in a case there.
That day’s hearing had finished early
and he was hurrying home because he
had paperwork to complete for the next
day. “I accept there is no excuse for my
speed,” he said. “I did not appreciate
how fast I was going and I am aware
that people in my position have to be
whiter than white.” Perrins was also
ordered to pay £40 costs.
Men followed children
LOWESTOFT: Worried parents have
contacted police about a group of men
they say were following their children.
Both incidents happened in the
Bloodmoor Road area of Lowestoft at
around 4pm yesterday. In the first
incident, the men tried to talk to a group
of youngsters as they walked home
from school. Shortly afterwards, they
were seen following a child down the
road. Officers said one of the men was
wearing a blue, racing-type boilersuit.
The second man wore black trousers
and a black jacket.
ᔡ Witnesses should contact Lowestoft
Police on 01986 835100.
Case is adjourned
SCULTHORPE: The case of a 56-yearold man charged with committing an act
of gross indecency with a boy was
yesterday adjourned by magistrates at
Fakenham. John William Engledow, of
Creake Road, Sculthorpe, is alleged to
have committed gross indecency with
the boy on June 1. The child cannot be
named for legal reasons. The case was
adjourned to November 13. Engledow,
who was released on conditional bail,
did not enter a plea.
Skatepark for village
TASBURGH: An enthusiastic group of
young skateboarders has persuaded a
Norfolk parish council to build a new
skatepark. Tom Bing, Nathan Sankey
and Nick Watts told councillors that the
£2.50 bus fare to Norwich and the
£7.50 entry fee to the city’s skatepark
left a big hole in their pockets. Now a
new skateboard park, funded by the
Waste Recycling Group’s landfill tax
credit and South Norfolk Council, will be
opened in Tasburgh on November 4.
READY TO ROLL: Pickfords spokesman Louise Walker (left) and Anne Osborn, director of corporate
management at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, with some of the crates ready to take hospital paperwork
to the new site at Colney.
Vans are ready
to move hospital
It has taken two years of meticulous
planning, but tomorrow morning the
first van will arrive outside the
Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to start
the county’s biggest removal job for
During the next six weeks, using
barcodes and coloured stickers, the
contents of the old hospital will be
carefully shipped out to the new
£229 million site at Colney.
The intricate procedure will take
thousands of boxes, endless bubble
wrap, dozens of removals experts and
10 vans on constant rolling shifts.
As well as moving equipment,
furniture, paperwork and medical
operation will also see the transfer of
more than 4500 members of staff and
hundreds of patients.
Yesterday, Anne Osborn, director of
corporate management, said doctors,
nurses and managers had all been
involved in planning the historic
She also revealed that the hospital
would be launching a local publicity
campaign to ensure people seeking
medical attention were not left
confused and concerned by the
Describing it as one of the biggest
By RACHEL BULLER
hospital moves, she said: “We had to
pick a pivotal point for the move,
which is the Accident and Emergency
department, and then plan every
other department’s move around that
service. We had to put every
department’s name on to yellow
stickers and move them around on a
wall until we got it right.”
The move will take place in two
phases with the final stage due for
completion next autumn.
First to move will be the hospital’s
administration and support services
and then clinical services.
Mrs Osborn said: “The shifts will be
divided into morning, afternoon,
twilight and night for staff so they
know exactly what they are doing.”
She said the aim of the move was to
minimise disruption to patients and
limit the number who needed to be
moved, although some people would
inevitably have to be transferred.
The key dates for the move include
the transfer of the children’s
assessment ward on November 20 and
the maternity ward on November 24
and, perhaps most critically, the A&E
department on December 5.
The company responsible for the
move is Pickfords, and while it is not
the first hospital it has moved, it is
one of their biggest jobs in recent
years. Spokesman Louise Walker
said: “This is much, much larger then
our usual jobs and it is more critical.
It is not like moving house, this is
about people’s lives. We have put a
special barcode on every piece of
furniture and equipment to create an
inventory of exactly how much we are
dealing with. When it comes to the
move itself we will use a colour coding
system so we know exactly where
everything comes from and where it
needs to go at the other end.”
៓ FACT FILE
For the first phase of the move due
to be completed by December 11,
Pickfords will have to use:
ᔡ Between six and 10 removal vans;
ᔡ 4500 boxes;
ᔡ 200 roll cages;
ᔡ 500 computer boxes;
ᔡ 500 rolls of bubble wrap;
ᔡ 250,000 colour coded labels;
ᔡ 30 people each on the day shifts
and night shifts;
ᔡ The equivalent of 2400 days of
Angry traders are set for a
showdown with Norwich
City Council over controversial parking machines.
The meeting comes after
the solar-powered pay-anddisplay machines in Upper St
Giles were covered with
black bags and the coin slots
Yesterday traders in the
street – where some say their
average weekly income has
plunged from £3000 to £200 –
said they had been calling for
a meeting for some time.
But it was not until a
solicitor agreed to provide
his services that a meeting
Paul Welters, chairman of
the Upper St Giles Residents’
and Traders’ Association,
will attend the meeting,
along with another shopowner.
His wife Jane, who runs
Toys at Ninety-One, said the
traders were delighted their
concerns were being heard.
“We have all been trying
without success to arrange a
meeting, and at last we have
got one,” she said.
“A huge amount of public
support has been shown to us
and we appreciate that. We
will keep on battling.”
Trader Jonty Young said a
meeting had only become
possible when a solicitor
“The situation is still not
right for us, even after we
started reminding people
they can park for free for 20
minutes,” he said.
East Anglian crime-busters
are today hosting a unique
conference for dozens of the
region’s crime reduction
The Newmarket conference
is designed to give those on
the frontline the chance to
policies with their contemporaries. It is being hosted by
the East of England Crime
Reduction Unit, whose director is giving the keynote
police officer Chief Supt Les
Eastern Daily Press, Friday, November 2, 2001
MOVE ᔡ Removal vans start shifting Norfolk and Norwich to new home
its big transplant
Picture: ADRIAN JUDD
By RACHEL BULLER
For more than two centuries, the
Norfolk and Norwich Hospital has
treated the sick and infirm.
But yesterday shortly after 8am, a
single removal van parked outside the
city centre hospital signalled the start
of a new phase in the history of
Norfolk health care.
After two years of planning, the
move to the new £229 million Norfolk
and Norwich University Hospital
For the next six weeks, Pickfords
removal lorries will be a common
sight on roads around Norwich as a
continual chain of boxes, equipment
and furniture is transported to the
new site at Colney.
Yesterday the big move began with
the hospital library where some 10,000
books have been carefully packed up
computers and even the historic
portraits hanging from all the walls.
Margaret Coomber, head of nursing
and human resources, said it was a
historic day for Norfolk.
“It is so exciting because now it feels
like it is really happening. As I was
walking over the pedestrian crossing
this morning into work I saw the
Pickfords van and it felt like this was
“There is a real buzz around the
hospital, we just want it all to finish
and be ready to go in the new hospital
The entire contents of the library
have been colour coded to ensure
everything goes in the right place.
She said: “We had already started to
do as much cataloguing and packing
as possible before the move date with
help from Pickfords.”
It is thought that it will take three
days to move the library from one site
to another with the new service up and
running early next week.
MOVE: Gary Hurley, of Pickfords, moves books from the hospital’s Sir Thomas Browne library.
It will mark a major expansion for
the hospital’s library service when it
links up with the University of East
Anglia and it will allow staff and
students to have access to greater
Louise Walker, a spokesman for
Pickfords, said the contents of the
library would fill some 1450 crates and
need dozens of trips in the removal
vans between the sites.
She said: “Everything is going
according to plan so far, if anything we
are ahead of schedule.
“It has been great to finally get
Once the library is finished the
removal teams will start on the
medical illustrations department and
then begin packing up the trust offices.
The first patients will be treated at
the Colney hospital later this month,
though accident and emergency will
not open until December 5.
Social services gears up
to help ease transition
Winter contingency funds of £10,000
have been earmarked to pay standby
social services staff and care workers
to ensure the Norfolk and Norwich
Hospital move goes without a hitch.
Norfolk social services has allocated
the money to the hospital social work
team to extend the hours of part-time
staff and employ more if necessary.
Extra domiciliary care workers
agencies will be placed on rapid
response standby from November to
January in case the number of winter
cases should suddenly increase.
Another full-time social worker has
also been added to the hospital team
for a year.
More emergency duty staff will be
drafted in, although the number has
yet to be confirmed.
After two years of planning, the
massive operation to begin shipping
equipment from the hospital site in the
By HELEN ASHWORTH
city centre to the new £229 million site
at Colney began yesterday.
It will take place in two phases, and
is due for completion next autumn.
Chris Mowle, Norfolk County
responsibility for social services, said:
“We want to do everything we can to
help the move to the new hospital run
smoothly, and to support the extra
elective surgery planned by the
hospital trust while the old hospital is
“We have been working with the
trust and other agencies to plan for the
busy months ahead. The best thing we
can do is to maintain our excellent
record in preventing bed-blocking by
making sure that services are in place
to allow hospital patients to be
discharged safely without delay.
“The steps we are taking should
ensure that we can provide the support
that is needed.”
Norfolk County Council received an
additional £1.2 million grant from the
Government towards nursing care for
the elderly earlier this year.
The funds were to prevent bedblocking – where patients remain in
hospital for longer than necessary,
because there is nowhere else for them
A report detailing social services
support for the hospital move will be
noted by the social services review
panel on Monday.
Mike Lee, spokesman for the Norfolk
and Norwich University Hospital
NHS Trust, said: “In planning the
move to the new hospital, the trust has
been delighted with the support given
by many agencies including social