Take part in debate to examine how Norfolk can emerge from Covid-19 pandemic

PUBLISHED: 14:29 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:57 15 July 2020

What is down the road for Norfolk following the coronavirus pandemic? Picture: Sonya Duncan

What is down the road for Norfolk following the coronavirus pandemic? Picture: Sonya Duncan

Norfolk’s long road to recovery from the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will be placed under the microscope in the next webinar to be hosted by this newspaper.

On Friday’s during the Covid-19 crisis, we have hosted a series of onloine debates giving people the opportunity to discuss the key issues affecting the region, from the future of arts and culture to education.

This Friday’s webinar is hosted in conjunction with with the Norfolk branch of the YMCA and Norwich North MP Chloe Smith.

Entitled ‘A return of hope, opportunity and prosperity - what next for Norfolk?’ the debate will see a panel including Ms Smith and YMCA Norfolk chief Tim Sweeting explore what life could be like in the county as it begins the road to recovery from the pandemic.

It will look at what opportunities the future generations will have and what work can be done to ensure they have prosperity and hope for years to come. Subjects will include deprivation, job opportunities and prospects for young people.

Norwich North Conservative MP Chloe Smith.  Picture: Neil DidsburyNorwich North Conservative MP Chloe Smith. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The webinar will be hosted by Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News editor David Powles and will feature a panel of people across a broad range of sectors, from the worlds of politics, business and education.

Together they will debate how best the county can emerge from the pandemic in a prosperous way - inviting people to share their hopes, feelings and concerns about the future.

In a joint column written for this newspaper, Ms Smith and Mr Sweeting said: “We invite you to be part of a wider conversation with us that explores what this next stage of life could look like for Norwich and Norfolk.”

Mr Powles said: “These debates have been a fantastic way to come up with constructive ways to move forward on a particular issue and out of each one we have been able to draw up a small manifesto of actions that would, if applied, make a real difference.

Norfolk YMCA chief executive Tim Sweeting. Picture: Denise BradleyNorfolk YMCA chief executive Tim Sweeting. Picture: Denise Bradley

“It’s a commonly known fact that the impact of covid-19 will run deep and stretch out for years to come. We want to start a discussion about ways in which we can reduce the impact here in Norfolk and ensure future generations are not saddled with the after affects.”

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The virtual panel will consist of:

• Chloe Smith- MP for Norwich North

• Tim Sweeting - chief executive of YMCA Norfolk

• Prof John Last - vice chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts

• Julia Nix - district manager of the Department for Work and Pensions in East Anglia

• Michael Gurney - Norfolk Community Foundation trustee

• Chris Sargisson - chief executive of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce

• Sarah Shirras - headteacher, St William’s Primary School

• Nigel Cushion - executive chairman and founder of Nelsonspirit

The webinar will be held at 11am on Friday, July 17 and can be accessed via this link.

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