Mayor thanks police and other agencies for work during bomb incident
Guests from organisations involved in the major incident which was declared in Great Yarmouth when a 250kg Second World War bomb was discovered have been thanked at a special presentation.
Representatives from the police, local authority and the media were invited to the town hall for the meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council last night.
On behalf of the council and the borough's residents, the mayor, Councillor Graham Plant, praised those involved in responding to the incident for their professionalism and support.
The unexploded bomb was found during dredging work close to the site of the new third river crossing. Experts and the military were immediately called in and a major incident was declared.
A 400m exclusion zone had to be set up around the bomb and residents were advised to seek refuge with friends and family while the Army worked on making the bomb safe.
The council set up two rest centres for those who needed support and officers worked round the clock with partners in Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk County Council and other agencies during the incident.
The mayor said: ''The operation to make the bomb safe, all the while maintaining the safety of the public and protecting infrastructure was, to put it mildly, complex. The intelligence on the ground was changing - not just day-by-day, but sometimes minute-by-minute.
''Led by our police - the way the military, local government partners, other emergency services, scientific and industrial experts, the NHS and a host of other agencies worked together to co-ordinate the response and deal with the incident is testament their skills, training and hard work.
''I would particularly like to thank Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison for his leadership. Co-ordinating the response of literally hundreds of people over the course of the week was a phenomenal achievement. Superintendent Sonia Humphreys and Superintendent Nathan Clark also played vital roles. We are hugely grateful to them.
The mayor also thanked the council's management team and highlighted the work of James Wilson, Head of Sustainability, who was pivotal in ensuring displaced residents had all they needed in terms of care and support.
The invited guests and councillors also heard about the work of GYBC Resilience Officer Alan Goulder and how staff across teams at the council showed their commitment to easing the disruption for residents.
Asst Chief Constable Davison said: ''We are very touched and humbled to be invited here. And the bravery of those in close proximity to the device shouldn't be forgotten.
''We will pass on your thanks to all those involved. Didn't Great Yarmouth show its resilience! Hats off to the whole community for pulling together.''
The mayor also praised the expertise and professionalism of the Army's Explosive Ordnance Disposal team's operation to painstakingly deal with the bomb.
He said: ''None of us should forget the servicemen and women who risk their lives for our safety. On behalf of everyone in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston I can only thank you sincerely.''
Finally, the mayor thanked BBC Radio Norfolk's Andrew Turner for his regular broadcasts during the incident which helped ensure police and other agencies were able get crucial messages across to the public.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader, Cllr Carl Smith and Labour leader, Cllr Trevor Wainwright, told the assembled members and guests they echoed the mayor's sentiments and added their thanks to those involved.