Investigations & Crime

Tenant with chronic asthma still living in flat covered in mould

A severe asthmatic is still living in a flat covered in mould after a council failed to repair it. The damp has got so bad in Tracy Shaw’s flat, on North Park Avenue, near Eaton Park, that her nebuliser machine for her asthma is mouldy, her dogs have become ill and she is having to take extra asthma medication. The 50-year old’s possessions, including clothes and precious photos of her grandma, have also been ruined by the damp.

How Norfolk has changed since lockdown began

It is 100 days since the biggest ever peacetime restrictions on our lives began. We have looked at some of the figures to show how exactly lockdown has changed life in Norfolk since March 23. The most notable changes have been on where and how we spend our time, Data from mobile phones, where the user lets Google track their movements, shows the percentage changes in time spent at various locations in Norfolk compared with the average before the l

More than 200 pupils highlight racism issues at top private school

Pupils at a leading Norfolk private school have raised allegations of a catalogue of racist abuse by staff and fellow students. More than 250 former and current pupils have called for teachers to be trained in “everyday racism” and for changes to the curriculum after students and alumni came forward to share their experience of alleged racial abuse at Norwich School. In response, the school apologised and headmaster Steffan Gr

Revealed: How a council lost £6m of public cash on a housing development

Council chiefs have lost almost £6m of taxpayers’ cash setting up a property company - and then kept the scale of the damages out of the public domain, we can today reveal. Norwich City Council formed the company, called Norwich Regeneration Ltd (NRL), in 2015 to build 1,000 new homes at Three Score in Bowthorpe. NRL has borrowed millions of pounds from the council for the project, called Rayne Park, a figure which could

How a lie about Tony Blair and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital went viral

I’ve been getting some weird emails recently. A story I wrote in 2016 about how the deal to build the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital (NNUH) has financially crippled it, keeps surfacing at the top of my daily web figures for the EDP. Then, two people got in touch to ask me if it was true Tony Blair is making millions of pounds from that deal. I wanted to ignore them, dismiss them as conspiracy theorists, but surely the r

How Norfolk’s death figures compare in the war on coronavirus

There are hundreds of numbers and dozens of ways to work out how we are faring in the fight against coronavirus - but by every measure the figures are going in the right direction. Sunday was the second day in a week, since lockdown began almost two months ago, that Norfolk’s three hospitals did not report a single new coronavirus death. In the East of England the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals peaked on April 12 at 1,484

Doctor’s plea for snorkelling mask exposes lack of coronavirus protection

Norfolk doctors have slammed a lack of equipment to protect them in the fight against coronavirus, with one even asking friends to find a snorkelling mask to shield them. Over the last month the government and local NHS bosses have repeatedly insisted they have enough protective equipment, known as PPE, to look after staff. The government has also said it is increasing coronavirus testing for NHS workers, with 2,000 done so far, but that is yet to start in Norfolk. On Tuesday cabinet minister

Paramedics sent to suspected coronavirus patients without being told, union claims

Paramedics are treating patients without being told they have coronavirus symptoms, a union has claimed. In an email to members, a Unison health and safety officer at the East of England Ambulance Service said staff have told him that they had been called out to help patients with symptoms of the virus, but the call centre, NHS 111, had not told them about those symptoms. “This crucial information is not appare

Owner of bust holiday park is still trying to sell £2m mansion - despite court ban

The directors of a holiday park, which collapsed owing £25m, have been attempting to sell their £2.2m mansion despite a court order freezing their assets, we can reveal. Please see an update to this article here. Simon and Lisa Moir, directors of Walsham Chalet Park Limited, were banned by the High Court in October last year from selling their property. It came after the company, which had a holiday park in No

Councillors enjoy luxury hotel at your expense - weeks before revealing budget savings

A council spent more than £1,000 on a luxury away day in a hotel for its leadership while it planned £4m of budget savings. Breckland Council's cabinet enjoyed drinks, a three-course meal and an overnight stay at Congham Hall, near Grimston, in West Norfolk in January. Opposition councillors asked why taxpayers forked out £1,120 for eight councillors and an officer to stay in the Georgian manor, which boast

Ex-hospital boss wanted in Australia corruption probe is living in Norfolk village

The ex-boss of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, who is wanted in Australia, is living in a north Norfolk hideaway, we can reveal today. Malcolm Stamp has been wanted in Queensland, Australia, since 2018 as part of an investigation into nepotism allegations at a hospital he ran. Two of his former associates have appeared in court in Australia to face corruption charges. Mr Stamp, meanwhile, is living in a larg

MP makes tree pledge while his family woods face chop for new homes

An MP has been accused of double standards after he signed a pledge to increase tree planting, while woods he co-owns will be cut down for 300 new homes. Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland, is a trustee, along with family members, of Thorpe and Felthorpe Trust, which wants to clear ten football pitches worth of its woodland for housing. The Trust, along with developer Socially Conscious Capital, won an appeal last year to build

'Got away with it' - NHS manager gloated about coverage of dead great-grandmother

An NHS manager bragged that the service had "got away" with its failings being highlighted after the death of two dementia sufferers - because former Monty Python star Terry Jones had died. The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) was criticised in an investigation into the death of 88-year old dementia sufferer Doreen Livermore who was attacked in a care home in King's Lynn by another dementia patient.

Photo of sick child sleeping on hospital floor lays bare severe A&E pressures

This photo shows how Norfolk's biggest emergency department has become so overcrowded that a sick child had to sleep on a corridor floor. It was 9.30pm on the Saturday before Christmas when Carla Taylor took her daughter to A&E. Lacey, 11, had swollen tonsils and was dehydrated as she could not swallow. When they arrived at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) there were no seats in the children's emergency department. "The room was absolutely packed. Parents and children were

What is going wrong with Greater Anglia's new £1.4bn trains?

The litany of problems with Greater Anglia's new trains that are causing misery for passengers can today be revealed. The train operator cancelled more than 80 services on Monday with rural lines particularly badly hit. It said disruption would continue "until further notice" and blamed the cancellations on signalling issues. But a string of problems with Greater Anglia's fleet of new electric trains is also behind some of the dela

Council probes how it hired contact of Lib Dem candidate for £1k a day job

The hiring of a £1,000-a-day consultant by a council has sparked controversy between the two favourites to become the next MP for North Norfolk. Freedom of Information requests, put in by Conservative candidate Duncan Baker, reveal how a consultant was hired by North Norfolk District Council for £1,000 a day after an introduction by his Liberal Democrat rival. Consultant Peter Thomas was introduced to the council by th

'Worked to the bone': Ambulance staff warned managers eight months before suicides about mental health

Ambulance staff warned their bosses eight months ago they were being "worked to the bone", leading to mental health problems. It comes after the sudden deaths of two paramedics and one control room worker at the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) this month. On Thursday chief executive Dorothy Hosein told staff she had commissioned an independent investigation into "serious concerns" raised

Council probes planning application allegations over new homes

A council is investigating claims that a parish councillor failed to declare an interest in a planning application which was approved by one of his wife's colleagues. King's Lynn and West Norfolk Council approved an application in September last year to build two new homes on land at Bustards' Lane in Walpole St Peter. However, they did not know at the time that council planning officer, Kate Lawty and husband David Lawty, a Walpole parish councillor, had an interest in the land which the hous

How charity was 'duped' into a £100k contract for second-hand printers

A charity claims it was duped into signing a £100,000 contract for two printers, worth just £13,000. Missing Kind, which runs the KindaKafe on Castle Meadow, Norwich, warned it would have "severe consequences" on its work. At least one other charity has also been affected and both charities claim their signatures were forged on key documents. Missing Kind was approached in August by a company called Plan Corporate Service

'No one has been targeted as much': How latest cuts are hurting disabled people

Hundreds of the most vulnerable people in Norfolk have been hit by a big rise in disabled care charges. Tom Bristow speaks to those who fear it will mean they lose their home and future. It has been years since Sharon* bought her children presents. At birthdays and Christmases her grandchildren make do with second hand gifts she finds on eBay. But the 64-year old fears even that may have to stop after being hit w
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Consumer & Business

Council spent £20m on an office and industrial units before coronavirus hit

City Hall chiefs splashed out more than £20m on an office block and industrial units before the pandemic hit commercial property prices. Coronavirus has seen the value of commercial property and rents plummet and Norwich City Council has offered tenants a three-month rent deferral. It said the decision to invest another £21m in commercial property was made before coronavirus reached the UK. In February it spent £14.5

Building firm collapses owing £1.7m and is left with just £10,000 to pay people back

The directors of a building firm, which collapsed owing £1.7m, have already set up another company under an almost identical name, sparking anger from creditors. Bespoke Norfolk Ltd, based in Hunstanton, went into liquidation at the start of May, with the directors, Ben Day and Stuart Deadman, blaming the impact of coronavirus. A document drawn up by the company’s liquidator, McTear Williams and Wood, has now

Why Norwich’s biggest youth charity collapsed now

It helped thousands of young people and became Norwich’s biggest live music venue, but the Open Youth Trust had struggled for years to make ends meet before it finally closed this month. It took six years and £12m for the Open Youth Trust to transform the former Barclays bank on Bank Plain into the city’s biggest venue and charity headquarters. The Open’s chairman, Russ Dacre, remembers stepping into the 1920s building in 2003 with its high ceilings and vaults and seeing the old banking desks

Lenwade House Hotel staff hit out at owners Scrivens

Staff hit out at luxury hotel over late pay and no pensions Workers at a luxury hotel which suddenly shut this month allege they were constantly paid late and have hit out at the running of the venue. Lenwade House Hotel, on Fakenham Road, shut on Friday, January 10 leaving couples who had paid deposits for weddings in despair. But ex-staff now say they too have been let down by the hotel. The owner of Norfolk Hotel Group Ltd, Nick Scrivens, which ran the venue, said the business shut becaus

Council 'dismissed' thousands of pounds in costs for businessmen behind controversial centre

Council 'dismissed' thousands of pounds in costs for businessmen behind controversial centre A council rejected claims for tens of thousands of pounds in costs from two businessmen working on a controversial project. Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Council said it "dismissed" £63,000 in cost claims for Kevin Horne and John Balch who were the directors of enterprise agency Nwes, which was paid millions of pounds to build a business centre for the authority. The council said the claims had nothing

How fraudsters tricked Lloyds customer into thinking they were from her bank

How fraudsters tricked Lloyds customer into thinking they were from her bank Scammers are tricking customers by appearing to call them through their bank's official number. A Lloyds customer from Watton, who did not wish to be named, said she received a call from her bank's customer service number on Tuesday, but the caller turned out to be a scammer. The call came after she was tricked by fraudsters into submitting a fake tax return online, two days earlier. She received an email on Sunday

'It came out of the blue': More than 200 firms lose out after collapse of 150-year-old building company

'It came out of the blue': More than 200 firms lose out after collapse of 150-year-old building company A construction firm which collapsed after 155 years owed £1m to around 250 suppliers, including many local businesses. Gill Building, which folded in June, had been operating since 1864 and focused on school and council contracts from its base at Colton, west of Norwich. But it called in administrators in June after it said contracts dried up. Its managing director also blamed the "rumour m

'It affects the rest of your life' - investor lost £55k in collapsed holiday park firm

'It affects the rest of your life' - investor lost £55k in collapsed holiday park firm A grandfather says the failure of a holiday park company will impact on the rest of his life after he poured £55,000 of savings into a luxury lodge. Chris Tyler, 73, was promised returns of 8pc a year on his investment at Norfolk Park near North Walsham. But in autumn last year the payments from Dream Lodge Group stopped. The firm, which ran eight holiday parks across England, including Norfolk Park and Fo

Old buses 'dumped' in Norwich after other cities get new vehicles

Old buses 'dumped' in Norwich after other cities get new vehicles Norwich is being used as a "dumping ground" for old buses which are no longer needed in other parts of the country, sparking fears about air pollution. The owners of the city's two biggest bus operators, First and Konect, both send old buses to the city from other parts of the country when those areas get new vehicles. It is common for large bus companies to move fleets around, but the extent that it is happening in Norwich mea

Customers paid millions of pounds for holiday lodges which were never built

Customers paid millions of pounds for holiday lodges which were never built Investors poured millions of pounds into holiday lodges which were never built, new documents show. More than 1,150 people claim they are owed a combined £25.6m by Walsham Chalet Park Ltd which traded as Dream Lodge Group until it collapsed in January. The firm's administrator, Deloitte, said there should be around £4m left for creditors after the company was sold for £12m and most of the money was used to pay off ban

Chinese food firm awarded £600,000 of your money for factory it never opened

Chinese food firm awarded £600,000 of your money for factory it never opened A Chinese food firm given £600,000 of public cash to transform an empty warehouse into a dumpling factory has blamed Brexit for never completing the project. Freshasia was awarded the money in 2015 to revitalise an old lamb-packing plant in Little Melton and create 50 new jobs. But what was meant to be one of Europe’s biggest dumpling factories still stands empty and when this newspaper visited Little Melton Food Par

Revealed: How council handed over millions of pounds without carrying out checks

Revealed: How council handed over millions of pounds without carrying out checks Failures by a council in handing over almost £5 million to build a new business centre have been laid bare. King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council (KLWN) gave the cash in grants and loans to enterprise agency Nwes from 2012 to 2016 in a deal which was “heavily weighted” against it and on which it carried out no due diligence, a report found. Nwes then failed to pay back a £2.75m loan from the council for th

Customers slam ‘blasé and arrogant’ builder John Miller who took thousands of pounds off them

Customers slam ‘blasé and arrogant’ builder John Miller who took thousands of pounds off them The many ways John Miller let down his customers were as diverse as the jobs he claimed he could do. But his methods each time were blunt - and devastating for those who trusted him. The builder, from Three Mile Lane, Costessey, would under quote for a project and begin work quickly. All would go well at the start and customers paid him promptly. But then the workmen would stop turning up and the p

‘How we lost our £200,000 life savings to scammers’

‘How we lost our £200,000 life savings to scammers’ A Watton couple reveal how they were “groomed” by scammers who made off with their £200,000 life savings. The letters promised Terence Donelan hope: hope of getting some of his money back after years of losses. Instead they robbed him of his life savings. Terry, 80, and wife Glyn, 77, worked hard and saved harder. He was a project manager in the construction industry while she was a nurse. Just before the financial crash in 2007 the Watton

How a £43,000 granny annexe in this Costessey garden turned into a nightmare

How a £43,000 granny annexe in this Costessey garden turned into a nightmare A family’s bid to build a garden home for their elderly mother has turned to disaster after a company they paid £43,000 left the job incomplete and with a litany of problems. Artist Sam Elmhirst now has an uninhabitable lodge in her garden on Myrtle Avenue, Costessey – and one surveyor estimates £37,500 of work is needed to fix mistakes made by builders. When she tried to take the firm, Hudson Garden Rooms Limited, t

Revealed: How struggling enterprise agency Nwes paid public cash to directors’ firms

Serious questions were today raised about the previous management of the region’s publicly-funded enterprise agency after it emerged it spent cash on two of its directors firms, while it racked up millions of pounds in debt. A joint investigation by the EDP and the BBC reveals a web of conflicting interests at the heart of Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Service (Nwes) while it was led by chief executive Kevin Horne and strategic director John Balch. The agency gets millions of pounds in public

Christmas in a caravan: £85,000 building project on artist’s dream cottage turns to nightmare

Christmas is cancelled for customers of a west Norfolk building firm who are camping at their homes after a catalogue of problems with their projects. One artist has been living in a caravan in her front garden since May after a project to renovate her cottage in north Norfolk ran five months over time. Imogen Ashwin has paid building firm Traditional Renovations Ltd £75,000 for work on her new home in Ridlington, near North Walsham. She hoped for a fresh start after losing her son Adam, 33,

The millionaire and Turkish princess behind squalid Norwich flats

The family behind a scandal-hit apartment block live a life of luxury and are members of the Turkish Royal family – while their tenants live in damp and dangerous flats. On Monday the city council ordered all 25 tenants to leave a 41-room apartment block at 60 St Faith’s Lane as the building is in such a poor state. When we visited yesterday, the walls of the flats’ corridors near Prince of Wales Road were covered in mould from leaking raw sewage. And the fire alarms do not work properly, maki

How manager’s suspension led to fall-out between Norwich City Council and Norse

A leaked email shows just how bad relationships between the city council and its biggest contractor had fallen, weeks before the council decided to end their multi-million pound partnership. We can reveal the suspension of a manager sparked a row between Norwich City Council chiefs and contractor Norse, owned by Norfolk County Council. But today the council said this dispute played no role in its decision to bring back all services provided through Norse, including cleaning city streets, parks

The £20m question: Who will look after council homes, parks and streets?

Questions today hang over how £20m worth of services will be provided in Norwich – including who looks after thousands of council homes, sweeps our streets and tends our parks. Street cleaning, parks and the maintenance of around 15,000 council homes depend on four contracts Norwich City Council has with Norse. Those contracts employ more than 400 people. But city council chief executive Laura McGillivray has written to the boss of Norse telling him of the council’s “strong intention” to bring
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