Sewell Ward news

The Campaign Team

Councillor Alex Catt
Councillor Gary Champion
Councillor Gillian Francis

Priorities for Sewell Ward

At the last census there were 9934 people living in Sewell in 4866 households. Twenty per cent of the population is under twenty, and fourteen percent is over 60. 58% of the population is economically active, a third in skilled trades.

The area falls in the highest band for fuel poverty; this means that a lot of the population are living in a property with a fuel poverty energy efficiency rating of band D or below, and, after they have heated their houses, they fall below the poverty line.

55% of the housing Stock is in owner occupation . The majority of private owned property was built before built before 1919 , and is likely to be poorly insulated.

The council housing fares better, but a program of cavity wall and roof insulation, and boiler replacements, needs to be carried out

9% of the housing stock has no outside space,; but, the average garden size is 60 square meters (30’ x 18’) so there is potential to use heat pumps to heat a lot of the properties, rather than fossil fuel

A green party council would create a not-for profit company specialising in insulation solutions, to carry out insulation of the council properties, and would give support and training to companies able to install heat pumps, producing a green environment and creating more employment opportunities.

Sewell News


    As we see more and more vulnerable people sleeping on the streets, your Green councillors have been calling for more action from our Labour-run city council.

    Greens believe everyone is entitled to a safe, secure place to stay. Work by Green councillors revealed that the council has spent

    £2.3 million over the last 5 years on sub-standard private accommodation, due to the lack of suitable council-owned accommodation for those at risk of homelessness.

    Councillor Alex Catt said “People facing homelessness deserve security and a decent place to live that will not require them to move away from work and family. We need more council-owned temporary accommodation to improve standards for those in need and also deliver these services in a cost-effective ways


    Sewage dumping is filling the River Wensum

    Recently Cllr Gary Champion and Cllr Gillian Francis brought a motion to the council that focused on how the River Wensum, which meanders its way through our fine city, needs a higher level of protection.

    However, n 2022, raw human sewage was dumped into the river for a total of 292 hours. Norwich is at the heart of an area of ecological importance, the majority of which is built up of designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and therefore the water quality of our river has a direct impact on the sustainability of this environment and downstream to the Norfolk coast.

    We all enjoy our rivers and seas, especially during the Summertime. In NR3 we are lucky to have Andersons Meadow, a space where people

    from across the area and flock to, looking to be near the running water and surrounded by the green space. Spaces like this are under threat.

  • What is happening to our public allotments

    What is happening to our public allotments

    Many residents have been keen to get allotments to help grow their own food during a cost-of-living crisis. They have reported huge waits despite many allotments seen empty and unused at sites across the city like Valpy Avenue or allotments on Mousehold Avenue.

    A local allotment owner commented “We had to wait 2 years to be allocated an allotment after applying, and on finally getting one we were informed it hadn’t been used for 3 years already. The allotment next to us has been uncultivated for 2 summers now as well”.

    Allotments are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint by reducing food miles, cutting down on packaging, which we see littering out streets, and other pollutants, which all helps nature in our area. Greens want to see more dedicated council staff to ensure allotments are maintained and regularly used so that waiting lists can be cut for those waiting.



    Norwich City Council are still failing to act on fly-tipping despite long-

    standing pressure from Green Party councillors to ramp up enforcement, as we see the annual cost of fly-tipping has doubled to nearly £350K. The Labour administration launched the “Love Norwich” campaign to crack down on this at a cost to the taxpayer of £100,000. Despite this, events planned for MX and promised CCTV have not materialised. Green councillors are asking where this money has gone instead.

    Cllr Alex Catt reporting flytipping

    Residents who live around communal bin areas regularly report trade waste being dumped at night soon after the bins are emptied, and it is about time this is put to an end.

    Greens continue to put pressure on the council to scrap the charge to residents of collecting bulky items and to ramp up enforcement against those who persistently offend by installing CCTV cameras in fly-tipping hotspots across the city, not just in the 6-10 isolated spots planned.

  • The Council is lax on street cleaning

    The Council is lax on street cleaning

    We get weekly feedback from residents that our area is being neglected by our city and county councils, that street cleaning is missed and that alleyways are left to become overgrown rubbish tips that are hotspots for anti-social behaviour.

    And after

    We continue to take matters into our own hands and when the state of this alley leading from Silver Road to Marlborough Road was reported to us, we cut back the overgrowth, weeded the alleyway and cleared litter. It is now much more welcoming.

    It took about three hours and we had over six bags of green waste at the end of it, but it was fulfilling to get something done. We are glad the city council is reviewing cleaning schedules and will continue to push them on this. We have another stretch to do, and will be meeting at 3pm on 27th August. Please join us!

  • Angel Road School Update

    Thank you for sharing your ideas for Angel Road School!

    The site has become a good hub for nature over the Summer.

    Norfolk Community Land Trust ( held a consultation event on the future of the Angel Road Junior School site on 8th July at the Rosebery Road pub. Your Green councillors were very happy to come along and wanted to thank residents for coming along to give their views.

    Residents from across the area had amazing ideas for how this site could be used for the community, and it showed how much people do care about this site and want to see it protected. You can see everything on the Open Science website ( Just search ‘Angel Road school’. If you missed the consultation event but still want to let us know your ideas, you can still do so here:

    llr Alex Catt and Cllr Gary Champion with Thorpe Hamlet councillor Ash Haynes at the consultation

    Green councillor Alex Catt said, “”It was inspiring to see how many came to support, sharing memories and ideas for the future. From a library, community centre, support for the arts, sports equipment, a theatre, increased provision for disabled pupils and more, the passion was clear. We want to thank Norfolk Community Land Trust for putting this on for the community.

  • Greens call on all parties to withdraw support for selling off council homes

    Greens call on all parties to withdraw support for selling off council homes

    Green Party councillors have criticised Norwich City Council’s Labour administration for lobbying the government to put into place policies which Labour front bench politicians wouldn’t necessarily support. At the council’s meeting in June, leading Labour councillors proposed to lobby Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government to “abolish the Right to Buy policy in favour of expanding the provision of high-quality, energy-efficient, and environmentally sustainable social housing stock providing homes for residents and their families.”

    Green councillor, Alex Catt responded to this suggestion by pointing out that Labour MPs such as the Shadow Secretary for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Lisa Nandy appear to support the Right to Buy which was originally suggested by the Labour Party in the late 1950s.

    Councillor Catt said:

    ‘Right to Buy’ is set to lose us 140 council homes every year. Meanwhile, the waiting list is nearly at 4,000 and people who need council homes are stuck paying exorbitant amounts of money to private landlords for poor quality housing. By lobbying the government to abolish this policy when the Labour Party has supported it, local Labour councillors are misleading Norwich residents. My colleague raised this contradiction with Labour councillors at a council meeting, but they failed to take it seriously. It is a national scandal that we have lost two million council homes since 1980, 40% of which are now in the hands of private landlords. We need an end to right to buy, so we can provide quality housing for those who need it. I hope Labour councillors will be lobbying their own party to stand against Right to Buy and to protect social housing.”

    Following an amendment from Green councillors, it was agreed that the council would write to the leaders of all parliamentary groups to ask them to support measures to improve the lot of private renters.


    Further information about the council meeting held on 20th June can be found here: CMIS > Meetings calendar (

  • protection for Angel Road site

    Green Gillian Francis seeks protection for Angel Road site

    Gillian is working with Green councillors to seek a preservation order

    Gillian Francis at Angel Road School

    ver the past year, children, parents, staff and local residents have been left in the dark while decisions have been made about the future of Angel Road Junior School. We have asked that this site is retained for the local community but a year later, our concerns are still being ignored by Norfolk County Council and our local MP, Chloe Smith, has told us to stay out of it.

    Local resident and Green Party campaigner Gillian Francis is keeping up the fight for the Angel Road junior school site. It is an important part of the area’s culture and heritage, so she is seeking a preservation order to retain it for the community and prevent it being bulldozed in favour of development.

    Gillian Francis said, “We urge local MPs and Norfolk County Council to give us information about plans for the site, and feel strongly that local residents must be consulted in this process. We have a unique opportunity to create a thriving centre for our community. As a venue for local residents, it could generate employment and be a self sustaining hub for local groups, small businesses, and charities. We want to know what you think should happen to this historical building, and who should benefit from it as a community asset. What does it mean to you? Please let us know.”

  • Sewell Councillors Write to Chloe Smith about Angel Road Junior School

    Sewell ward councillors Alex Catt and Gary Champion have written to Norwich North MP, Chloe Smith, regarding the future of Angel Road school. The councillors’ letter appears below, in full.

    Dear Chloe Smith MP,

    As the member of Parliament for Norwich North, I am sure you are aware, both parents and residents in the wider community have been concerned about the ongoing situation at Angel Road Junior School. The original site has now been closed since July of last year with pupils moved to Angel Road Infant School and to St Clements Hill Primary School. 

    Since then, it has emerged that the original site at Angel Road will not reopen with Evolution Academy Trust intending for all pupils across both schools to be accommodated at the infant school site permanently. 

    Many parents are increasingly concerned that this will lead to a reduction in provision for children at both schools with indoor space, halls, a library and other facilities available at the original site not set to be replaced by the Trust. This means that both schools will be required to share facilities instead of having their own dedicated spaces. 

    In addition to this, there are concerns about the future of the original site with this merger going ahead and the site being returned to Norfolk County Council. This site has a lot of community significance with the building dating back to the early 1900’s, giving a lot of character to the local area and many people having a strong desire for the school to be reopened or at least retained for the community. 

    We have been informed that the cost of repairing Angel Road Junior School currently sits at £1.8 million. We have also seen plans for what they would ideally like the merged site to look like which total £4.7 million and have not been approved by the Trust. However the actual plans approved to go ahead in order to accommodate all pupils at the site are significantly lower at only £1 million.

    This raises serious questions about the level of provision that would exist at this merged site following the proposed plans. It seems costings exist for what work would be needed to make sure the site matches or exceeds the provision currently existing at both separate sites but the Trust is only going ahead with works significantly lower than this, it is a foregone conclusion that the provision of facilities for pupils across both sites will be much lower as a result of this merger, an outcome that surely we should all be trying our hardest to avoid.

    At the same time, we have an empty school site which has now sat vacant for nearly a year. If repairs were to be made to this site, we could put an end to the ongoing disruption, pupils will be able to return to their original school with no reduction in provision and the wider community would be able to keep a site that they care so deeply about. This would mean a much better outcome for our children, parents and residents while not carrying the significantly higher price tag of £4.7 million. 

    However, in order to do this, the Trust would require support from Norfolk County Council, yourself and the Department of Education. Will you commit to meeting with us to discuss how we can all work together to achieve the best outcome for children’s education that saves Angel Road Junior School?

    We look forward to hearing from you. 

    Councillor Alex Catt and Councillor Gary Champion

    Norwich City Councillors representing Sewell ward. 

Upcycled wood used to build homes for under threat swifts

Green councillor building urban habitats to bring wildlife back to Norwich

Swifts have been in a sharp decline across the UK due to destroyed habitats.

Numbers of swifts have been in swift decline over the past two decades as habitats have been destroyed with the population falling by 60%. Conversely other countries with dedicated policy to protect urban wildlife habitats have not seen this fall.

Green councillor Gary Champion is campaigning to make Norwich a swift friendly city. He is pushing the city council to incorporate these habitats into all new developments with the inclusion of swift bricks, a specific type of bird nest for swifts. As a low-cost measure to help this threatened species, he is also pushing for swift boxes to be added to existing properties whenever routine maintenance is being carried out.

He said, “We would encourage members of the community to participate in our drive to help the swifts either by installing your own swift boxes or getting in touch with us so that we can help install one from upcycled wood. We would also love to hear from you if you already have one – please do tell us your experiences.

Green councillors assist residents with mould issues

Housing Ombudsman makes multiple rulings against Labour administration

Mould and damp issues have been in the national news recently for the adverse health effects they cause. Your local Green councillors have been assisting residents in pushing the Labour-controlled City Council to take urgent action after months of ignoring residents’ concerns.

Your Green councillors, Alex Catt and Gary Champion, have long been calling for the council to get to grips with its housing repairs backlog and provide the service that all of its tenants deserve.

Cllr Alex Catt said, “It has been really upsetting to see so many tenants struggling with serious mould issues while our Labour council continues to ignore their concerns, with repairs either being shoddy or non-existent. Mould is a serious issue which can impact our health. It is about time that the city council takes this seriously and addresses their failure to provide essential maintenance. With a £23 million underspend on their housing budget, what are they waiting for?”

Park and Stride

Councillor Alex Catt helped to set-up a park-and-stride scheme with St Clements Hill School and St George’s Church to ease congestion and traffic around Wall Road, Sprowston Road and Constitution Hill.

Litter Picks

Gillian, Gary and Alex organised a litter-pick of Gertrude Road, Romany Road,Marlborough Road and Mousehold Heath. They managed to pull out multiple bags of litter as well as reporting fly-tipping and needles to be removed.Gillian, Gary and Alex will be raising the issues of drug dealing around Temple Road and anti-social behaviour at Sandy Park as priorities for the local police team at the next Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel meeting

New Road Signs

Councillor Alex Catt has successfully had street signs replaced at Bull Close and Starling Road. He has reported many more in the area for replacement – let us know if you see a missing or damaged sign!