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Summary

  1. Pleasure Beach owners claim wage rise will force up prices
  2. The governor of Wayland Prison wants employers to consider hiring former offenders
  3. Bridge rescue returns home
  4. Updates on Friday, 1 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage today

That's it from the Norfolk Live team for today and for the week, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Monday, keeping you up to date with the news, sport, travel and weather information for the county.

We like to involve you in Norfolk Live, so if you've a story or maybe a photo that you'd like to share, send us an email or a tweet, or get in touch on Facebook.

The headlines: Bird strike puts air ambulance out of action... Community's anger at plans to develop recreation area

The stories in the news today:

  • A new East Anglian Air Ambulance is out of action following a bird strike
  • Council says plans to develop a community recreation area are at an "exploratory stage", but residents say they were told they could use the land for five years
  • Funding to help ex-service personnel caught up in the criminal justice system

Weather: Dry with clear spells

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

A dry night with clear spells, leading to a touch of ground frost.

Tenmperatures will fall to 4(C) (39F).

Weather chart for Saturday 15:00 show clear skies
BBC Weather

A sunny morning with clear skies.  Becoming cloudier later with the chance of rain in the evening.

Maximum temperature: 14(C) (57F)

BBC Weather has more details.

Development plans 'exploratory' says council

West Norfolk Borough Council says plans to develop a community recreation area are at an "exploratory stage".

The area of land known as Sandgate Meadow Park
Welney Recreation Users Group

The council's applying to build 16 homes on a site known as Sandgate Meadow Park in Welney, saying they made residents aware they may need to develop the land.  

A group of locals, known as the Welney Recreation Ground Users Group (RUG) say the plans are a disgrace, and that they were told they could use it for five years. 

Watch: 'We want to keep Newcastle below us,' says Neil

Norwich City, fourth from the bottom of the Premier League, take on fellow strugglers Newcastle in a crunch match tomorrow.

Canaries manager Alex Neil says he "just wants to get the job done". 

Speaking of the magnitude of the match, he told BBC Look East's Tom Williams: "We're above them in the league and want to make sure that remains the case."     

Police target drug drivers

More than 200 drug roadside tests have been carried out by Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies on drivers thought to be under the influence of drugs during the month of March

A drug testing kit
Norfolk Police

Officers from the Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Units carried out 80 positive tests, and 144 negative tests.  One individual refused to give a sample.

New laws were introduced in March 2015 making it easier for police to target drug drivers.  

Alfie Hewett reaches first ITF 1 singles semi-final

Phil Daley

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norfolk wheelchair tennis star Alfie Hewett has reached the semi-finals of the IFT 1 event in South Africa.

The Cantley 18-year-old beat Frenchman Frederic Cattaneo 6-4 6-4.

Alfie Hewett
Tennis Foundation

World No.14 Hewett will bid for his second career win over world No.3 ranked Frenchman and tournament second seed Nicolas Peifer in the last four on Saturday.

Councillor to join fight against housing plans

A west Norfolk councillor says he'll join Welney residents in fighting against plans for houses on their recreation ground.

A circle of flowering cherries planted by RUG on the land
Welney Recreation Ground Users Group

The Welney Recreation Ground Users Group (RUG) says the borough council had given them a five year lease on Sandgate Meadow Park, and they'd raised thousands of pounds for the ground.  

Councillor David Pope says he'll fight along with the people of Welney, doing all he can to persuade fellow councillors to go against the application. 

Air ambulance out of action after bird strike

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

A brand new East Anglian Air Ambulance has been out of action for nearly two weeks after a bird strike.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance
BBC

The crew was returning to Norwich Airport after attending an incident in Essex on 20 March when the strike happened. There were no patients on board.

A spokesperson for the charity said the two pilots "handled the situation calmly" and managed to land back at base. They added the service remained fully operational with a replacement aircraft from Bond Air Services.

Funding to help veterans in police custody

A project helping ex-military personnel caught up in the criminal justice system which started in Norfolk and Suffolk is being expanded.

British soldiers marching
Getty Images

The Ministry of Defence's Covenant Fund's giving £300,000 to Walking with the Wounded's Project Nova, which supported more than 100 former service personnel between last July and December. Only three of them re-offended.

Andrew Cook, from Walking with the Wounded, said individuals in police custody will get asked if they are ex-military. If they answer is yes, he says they get notified and will see how they can be of help.

What is an Enterprise Zone?

Four new Enterprise Zones are being set up in Norfolk, as part of ten being set up in the county and in Suffolk.  But what is an Enterprise Zone?

A man working at a computer
Getty Images

They were established in 2012, as part of the government's long term economic plans, supporting businesses to grow. Companies basing themselves in the zones get a range of benefits, including business rate discount and super-fast broadband.

Business rates growth generated is kept by the relevant local enterprise partnership and local authorities in the areas for 25 years, to reinvest in local economic growth.

The sites benefit local communities by attracting business and creating job opportunities.  It's claimed the four new sites in Norfolk could create 18,500 jobs over the next 25 years.  

Changes at recycling centres

All of Norfolk's recycling centres, with the exception of Mile Cross in Norwich, are now open from 09:00 until 17:00 for the summer timetable.

Thousands of aluminium cans for recycling
Getty Images

From 1 May, the Docking recycling centre will re-open on Friday, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.

From 1 June, Ashill, Heacham and Morningthorpe recycling centres will operate seven days a week.

Enterprise Zone: 'Opportunities for west Norfolk'

Secured by the New Anglia LEP and its local authority partners, enterprise zones across the county go live today and one of them is on the Nar Ouse Business Park at King's Lynn.

The 15-acre site, which has connections to the A47, A10 and A17, will be home to more than 60 businesses and 800 jobs in the next five years.

The leader of West Norfolk Borough Council, Nick Daubney, said the zone will help King's Lynn attract new investment, bring jobs and opportunities to west Norfolk.

Weather: Turning warmer and sunny

BBC Weather Watchers

Hazy sunshine this afternoon, with occasional cloud.  Temperatures reaching 11(C) (52F).

The daffodil mile in Honing
Weather Watcher malcyb

Looking ahead to the weekend, it will turn warm with sunny spells.

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher "malcyb" for this photograph of the "mile of daffodils" in Honing".  On Sunday, visitors to the village can walk the mile or take a tractor ride along the route.

Cancellations to rail services

Abellio Greater Anglia warns of cancellations to some rail services via Norwich:

View more on twitter

Alex Neil: Next three Norwich City games crucial

Phil Daley

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

"I don't think the next three games will define our season, but it go a long way towards it," Canaries manager Alex Neil has just told us.

He added "We've always been confident we can stay in the league.  After this game, we're hoping to be in a better position." 

Norwich City are just outside the relegation zone, the Magpies are in it.

Alex Neil: 'We need the points'

Phil Daley

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Alex Neil has just told us that tomorrow's home game with Newcastle is "a big game....we need to make sure we put in a performance we know we can but more importantly we need the points".

All of City's international players are back, injury free.

Norwich players celebrate Martin Olsson's (centre) goal

Saj Chowdhury

BBC Sport

Martin Olsson scores in the third minute of stoppage time as Norwich deal a huge blow to Newcastle's hopes of survival.

Read more

Norwich City press conference is under way

Our sports reporter Phil Daley is at Colney, where Alex Neil has is speaking to the press ahead of Norwich City's crunch match against Newcastle United tomorrow.  

Alex Neil at the presser
BBC

Bridge rescue cat returns home

A tabby cat that had to be rescued from under a Norwich river bridge is now settling back at home.

Claudia had been missing for 15 months before she was spotted on a concrete pillar under the city centre bridge. Her microchip helped vets locate her owner, who had since moved house.                       

Incentives for businesses in Enterprise Zones

Four new enterprise zones are being set up in Norfolk. 

They're among ten in Norfolk and Suffolk which, it's claimed, could create 18,500 new jobs over 25 years. Businesses get superfast broadband, discounted business rates and fewer restrictions on planning permission.

The incentives can be the thing that makes a company decide whether or not to invest now or later... we've seen a lot of jobs created in King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth by businesses opening up their own premises in the enterprise zone."

Kevin HorneNorfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services

Pleasure Beach claims living wage will force up prices

Rob Sykes

BBC Radio Norfolk

A Great Yarmouth business has claimed the introduction of the new living wage has forced it to put up prices for rides.

The Pleasure Beach said it would cut back on opening times to pay for the extra cost. The new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) requires employers to pay workers aged 25 and over at least £7.20 an hour.

It is expected to give 1.3 million workers an immediate pay rise.

Thousands of new jobs in the pipeline as enterprise hubs are rolled out across the region

Eastern Daily Press

The front page of today's Eastern Daily Press:

Front page of EDP
Archant

Businesses urged to hire former prisoners

A Norfolk prison is calling for local businesses to consider hiring former inmates.

Exterior view of HMP Wayland
BBC

HMP Wayland invited 70 companies to come and see the training they give offenders, and the work being done on site for commercial businesses. 

Governor Paul Cawkwell says that giving a prisoner the opportunity to learn skills to get a job will reduce the likelihood of them ever coming back to prison.

The headlines: New enterprise zones to boost economy ...Anger over plans to build on recreation ground

The stories in the news this morning:

  • New enterprise zones to boost the economy and create thousands of jobs go live today 
  • Plans to build houses on a village recreation ground has angered campaigners who thought they had permission to use it for five years
  • The governor of Wayland Prison wants employers to consider hiring former offenders

Anger over housing plans

Plans to build over a village recreation ground in West Norfolk have angered local campaigners who thought they had permission to use it for five years.

Members of the Welney RecreatinonGround Users Group on the land
BBC

Welney Recreation Ground Users Group(RUG) raised more than £60,000 over the last year to create a play area, picnic spots and a wildlife meadow in a site now as Sandgate Meadow Park in the village.

King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council has now put forward plans to build 16 houses on the land. 

Baby news for MP

The MP for Norwich North, Chloe Smith, is tweeting: 

View more on twitter

Launch of new Enterprise Zones

New Enterprise Zones aimed at  boosting the economy go live today.

The Nar Ouse Business Park Enterprise Zone
New Anglia LEP

The zones include King's Lynn Norwich, Wells-next-the-Sea and Coltishall, and will help create thousands of jobs, as well as sites in Suffolk.

An Enterprise Zone established for Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft in 2012 is now home to more than 1,800 jobs and 39 companies.

Cycling star Pooley ready for Tour

It's being reported that Norfolk's cycling star Emma Pooley will return to road racing at the Tour of Britain in June.

Emma Pooley
Getty Images

Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad says Lotto-Soudal team manager Danny Schoobaert has revealed Pooley will be part of the event.

The first leg of the Tour ends in her home city of Norwich.

Weather: Dry and sunny

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It will be a dry day with lots of sunshine, becoming cloudy later.

Top temperature: 13C (55F). BBC Weather has more details for you.

Welcome to Norfolk Live

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Hello and thanks for joining us for Friday's Norfolk Live. We'll have news, sport, travel and weather updates from the county until 18:00.

Do you have a story that you'd like to share with us? You can get in touch on email or Facebook, or send us a tweet.