My name is Vicki Hopps and I am the Environmental Health Manager (Commercial) at the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.
I was born and grew up in the North East of England in County Durham and then moved to Salford in Greater Manchester to study Environmental Health returning to Hexham in to the Tyne Valley for my first job.
I had always wanted to work and live by the sea and when the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk were advertising for Principal Officers in Environmental Health I applied never thinking that I would be successful. I was really pleased to be offered the job, so I got my wish and the opportunity to progress in my career was a bonus!
No two days are the same in the world of Environmental Health. My area of work covers; food safety, health and safety and licensing. One minute I could be dealing with a serious accident the next explaining to a food business what they need to do in order to comply with new food regulations. The work is so varied which is what I love about my chosen career. I really feel that I am able to contribute something to the community and residents of West Norfolk whether it is by improving working conditions, ensuring food is safely produced or the taxi they use on their night out is safe.
In terms of Environmental Health there is nothing that West Norfolk doesn’t offer. We have a vast array of food businesses from small cottage industries to large multinational processors. There is a motor sports arena and large warehousing units which we have health and safety responsibility for. The dock provides moorings for numerous fishing vessels and the coastal areas have some of the best shellfish in the country all of which fall to the Commercial Team to inspect. In terms of licensing the night time economy and taxi licensing provides its own unique challenges and there is never a dull moment.
If I had to sum up the three best things about West Norfolk they would be: the open space and lifestyle offered; the friendly people; and the diverse nature of the borough which is not found in many parts of the country. I would encourage everyone to make the move like I have, come and enjoy life in west Norfolk!