Bawdeswell planning consultation

  1. Local Plan consultation drop-in, Bawdeswell Weds 28 Sept. Large maps + officers on hand to answers questions

  2. If you live in Upper Wensum Ward I expect to be there from about 3.00 to just before 7.00pm and happy to talk to residents


Attended meeting last night with George Freeman at Castle Farm and hosted by John and Jean with excellent canapés and wine etc on the banks of the delightful River Wensum. My first meeting since the referendum and installation of new Prime Minister.
George talked about his new job in Westminster and I was able to have a private chat about matters within my ward and work within Breckland.


The new local plan will affect us all and between now and 30th October we have the very last chance to influence or challenge what is happening in our communities. THIS PLAN LASTS TO 2036.

Below is the list of public drop in events around the district where you will be able to see the plan as it affects your village and any other you are interested in. It is open to all parish council members and clerks, plus interested parishioners, so please make it known to interested parishioners as well. Feel free to publish on your websites.

The dates do not suit me very well but I expect to be at part of the meeting in Bawdeswell, part of the two meetings in Dereham (29th & 19th) and part of the meeting in Mileham, these being closest to our ward. Fitting these around other meetings where I am representing the ward on other matters.

Bill and I have worked hard to introduce to the new plan policies which both protect and enhance the abilities of smaller communities with their planning needs. Breckland is estimated to have a need for almost 15,000 new homes over the next twenty years and whilst many of these will be accommodated in the sustainable urban extensions proposed for Thetford and Attleborough, some will be needed throughout the district including in our ward. We have been pleased to speak on this in many parish meetings over the last several months and will continue to do so over the next six weeks of the consultation, but if you have questions please do ask. The entire local plan is now online, there will be at least one copy in every village and of course at every drop in meeting.

You are free to drop in to any meeting across the district and speak to planners who will have your village information with them. It is a drop in so stay as long or short a time as you wish but bear in mind a lot will be calling as they leave of work etc.

Contact me directly if you want more information

Public drop-in events

Date Venue
Monday 26 September, 2- 6pm Thetford Carnegie Room
Wednesday 28 September, 2-8pm Bawdeswell Village Hall
Thursday 29 September, 2-8pm Dereham Memorial Hall
Tuesday 4 October, 2-8pm Watton Sports Centre
Wednesday 5 October, 2-7:30pm New Buckenham Village Hall
Thursday 6 October, 2-8pm Attleborough Town Hall
Monday 10 October, 2-8pm Mileham Village Hall
Wednesday 12 October,2-7pm Swaffham Assembly Halls
Monday 17 October, 2-8pm Watton Sports Centre
Wednesday 19 October, 2-8pm Dereham Memorial Hall
Thursday 20 October, 2-8pm Thetford Carnegie Room
Monday 24 October, 2-8pm Great Hockham Village Hall
Tuesday 25 October, 2-8pm Attleborough Town Hall
Wednesday 26 October, 2-8pm Swaffham Assembly Halls


My views on the EU

Here is part of my statement of belief in us coming out of Europe. It’s not jingoistic nor is it driving fear, but is based on a lifetime seeing what harm being IN has done to us as a nation. I suppose it is hard not to indulge in a bit of jingo-ism when faced with the half truths and misleading statements put out by many pro EU’er’s

There are many reasons why I think that leaving the EU is right for this country. In fact I have not heard a single overriding reason why we should stay in. The ‘remain’ campaign has majored on fear of the unknown. To anyone over the age of say 65 it is known.

My main reason is that we return to being a democracy. Anyone who was not an adult in the period 1970-75 when we were deceived into making a wrong choice probably cannot understand this. We had before us two options, not out or in but join with EFTA or EEC. It is interesting that the leaders of the two major political parties at that time both agreed on the EEC. We do know why.

Since 1975 year by year the freedoms of the British people have been salami sliced away. Year on year a bit more is taken, and if we are foolish enough to vote to remain in, a huge additional chunk of freedoms will disappear within the next five years. The EU acts in the same way as a dictatorship, personal and national freedoms are eroded and never is there any relief at all in this. We also see throughout Europe a return of both Facism and Communism. We see the EFTA country of Norway saying that it wants to close its border with EU Sweden. This has been fairly open for centuries with the exception of 1940-44. (If we had joined EFTA it would have been that much more powerful and greater than the (EEC) EU has become without the political implications.) If however we come out, it will cause a bit of pain, but not as much as some predict and within one year of the final leave we will be emerging as a free, powerful and successful nation. No short term cost is to great to pay for that.

So my overriding concern is democracy or freedom and this out shines all other reasons.

On other matters.

Borders. We are a small island with a greater population density than our major neighbours. We must, if we want to survive in our present form, have to have some kind of border control. We must be able to repatriate criminals and illegals, be they from Europe or the wider world. This does not mean that workers who can and will and do contribute to our communities could or should be barred. We have always imported workers from the wider world for certain occupations and will continue to do so. We will also seek and need a continued immigration system, but it should be geared to our peculiar circumstances within the continent which we will remain a part.

Our farmer’s have concerns because of the EU subsidies. They should also remember, they have to live with unreasonable restrictions and rules. I also suggest that when we are OUT measures will also be in place to ease the journey to a prosperous agricultural industry within the British economy. I was talking to a number of farmer’s recently, one who said to me “my heart and head say come out, but my wallet says stay in.” I asked where do you vote then, he said – out.

On the economy. The fear tactics of trade embargoes are just not credible. We have a trade deficit with the EU and in particular with countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain and so on. Trade embargoes against us could be reciprocated with the resultant charges used to protect our business. This will not happen, our neighbours are not fools. and never forget that we, each one, pay £1 per day NET for the privilege (if thats the word) for belonging. Thats £55 million plus each day. Paid it to an organisation which is so corrupt it has never been audited or produced accounts. Almost like FIFA? Also when out we will be able to negotiate our own deals with the wider world, as we did in the past, but not allowed now.

On trade and industry. There seems to be a fear that we will lose a number of major industries. This is I believe – bunkum. There will be additional freedom from red tape and pettifogging rules imposed by the EU. Like for example straight cucumbers and measuring system which is not the same as around the world. The English nation has always been the most entrepreneurial, inventive and industrial nation in history. Add to this our contribution to the arts and social contributions, we will never be overshadowed by our larger neighbour, which is in any event heading into meltdown. Compare us if you will to Japan or Canada. but we are better traders and more innovative than either of those

On Law. English Law is still be best in the world and is vastly different to that used on the continent. Here you are innocent until proven guilty, not in rest of EU. Yet we are moving ever closer to their way of doing things. Perceived conflicts in courts are because they are incompatible

On Justice. we are seen to have the most humane justice system in the world, vastly different from our European neighbours in every respect. This is being undermined by the European Courts (I know they are not all EU controlled)

On police. We used to have a police force, now we have a police service. We could return our force of law and order into one that is not a social service but into a protection for our people

On Politics. We still have elections with the appearance of democracy, but we lose out in the emasculation of our parliament. We should be helping others to a free society, and not moving ourselves into a restricted society. The Cameron negotiation will not help that at all.

On housing. If we had a controlled immigration system we would not have a housing shortage. Young families would be able to buy if they wanted or rent what they desire.

On benefits. We cannot continue to be the ‘health service’ of the world on demand, and neither can we continue to be the provider of all things to anyone who asks. It needs some regulation surely.

On Banking and financial services. There is a fear that we will lose out, but I believe that London, in an independent country, will be able to offer such freedoms that we will not lose much if any and will almost certainly gain trade. Under EU of course some years ago we had to cede much of this to Germany. I think some will come back.

On armed forces. Cut to the very bone, but still be ‘best army in the world’ again restricted by EU yet we do most of the international police keeping work for the other nations. Why? Also we have to consider the very real problem of a European army…!!!

On Human Rights. We have a hotch-potch of lawer invented pseudo laws designed to hinder real freedoms by hiding the rights of a majority under a cover of protecting minorities. The person who murders your child has more rights than your child had to live, is the way in works. Personally I felt more free, and I had more rights before such legislation came in

On International relations. The UK’s contacts and influence is greater than any other nation with the possible exceptions of USA, China and Russia in that order, but we hold an enormously greater respect that any of these and certainly more than our EU neighbours. Plus we have what is left of the empire and the commonwealth. The so called English Speaking Nations, even those that disagree with us on many things still have a heart-felt feeling towards us.

On historical, social, cultural and spiritual matters. For a single example, this country has always prospered under the Protestant Work Ethic and we have been at our greatest during the late 1400’s – 1500’s. During the 1700’s the early to mid 1800’s. During the first 5 decades of the 1900’s coinciding with protestant revivals and industrial advances linked with them. Most of Europe has grown in a different culture with quite different aims and ambitions. We will never really agree. Ecumenism has a lot to answer for.

On fishing. Its not just the quota system, why should a land locked nation have rights to fish off our shore when our fishermen are restricted. and why should caught fish have to be tipped over board dead? and why should you or I, if we chose to spend a day fishing of Southwold pier be fined £500 if we accidentally catch a sea bass and eat it? International laws always gave a nation total rights to a three mile limit, controversially extended to 12 mile in the 1960’s.

I could go on and on, but you get the point, and I can expand at length on most of the above. I do not by the way belong to any of the OUT organisations, perhaps I should. Our geography will remain the same, our neighbours will not all put up a wall either actual or in any other way, we will still be able to travel and drink Italian wines and fly through Amsterdam. We can also re-unite with the rest of the world as a major player.

I do, however, firmly believe that you are wrong if you believe that we should remain part of one of the most corrupt international organisations ever created.


Its been a long time since I last posted, and I plead an extreme number of meetings, sometime several a day.

If there has been no blogs since you last visited then please try my Twitter or Face book pages as these are updated all the time and from my phone

see you soon


Up early as usual and spent a few hours on the net getting up to date and sending emails etc, also reading up for Mondays meeting at Breckland Planning plus the meeting on Billingford Lakes. Big day for many folks on both sides of the issue.

Quick trip into Derham then spent the day in the garden…..we have a big job in hand with clearing what had been the old nursery beds fifteen years ago. Trees in 8″ pots now 20ft tall and covered in woodbine and clematis plus the dreaded brambles…but just too hot so spent a lot of time in a chair with a book or cutting grass…sorted. This is also my last Saturday and Sunday with no formal appointments until end of September so a rest is called for.



Been a busy week doing not too much but taking all my time if you know what I mean

TUESDAY was the press ride for the Round Britain Cycle race which is coming to the district on Sept 12th.  A hardy bunch of press councillors and public supported by professional cyclists and police out-riders set off from East Haring on the 15 mile ride to Elvedon Courtyard. Sorry I was not able to join the ride, but I did get to the close to welcome them in after about an hour. Well done, all finished. The actual ride will travel through FIVE of the villages in my Ward Guist, Twyford, Bintree, Foxley and Bawdeswell where it leaves Breckland for Broadland district. I had expected to attend in one of them but have been asked to represent Breckland at the start, and the speed they achieve will be unable to beat them to the ward. There are very few WORLD CLASS sporting events which are entirely free to view, and this is one of them. they expect well over 100,000 folks to turn out along the route – I hope that you will be one of them. I turned out in 2012, and whilst the experience is very short it is amazingly exhilarating to see 100 or so top athletes followed by the stragglers and support vehicles and police etc. It will then enter the district again at Attleborough and proceed to the Suffolk border to continue the penultimate day of the race. Breckland is happy to support this event which brings many advantages to the district and it’s businesses.

THURSDAY attended the Preview day for THETFORD’S Great Festival. Interesting evening where I met several of the participants of the festival and a load of Thetford characters including the larger than life Town Crier, the Mad Monk, some distinctly dangerous looking Knights in Armour, Catherine of Aragon, Captain Mainwaring and Pt Pike, a lot of over-made up and distinctly suspect ‘ladies’, and a herd of colourful cows…..! sorry if I missed anyone there was so much happening  If you can get to Thetford any day up to and including the 6th September there is something going on. I will be there on 25th all day and possibly parts of other days as well. Many events are entirely free.

FRIDAY attended a meeting regarding proposed changes in how we do licensing at Breckland. This follows some complaints by objectors at a recent hearing. our proposals will (hopefully) be ratified at the September meeting.


The Breckland chain was returned to manufacturer today for refurbishment etc. Its now well over 40 years old and can do with a clean and a small repair and this is the time when I have least appointments. I will have two tomorrow and will do them chain-less.That is the press event in East Harling for the Tour of Britain Media Ride and then on to Elveden to see them home. I am sorry to not be riding with them but an old injury means I could not manage 15 miles in 45-60 minutes.

Start is at George and Dragon in East Harling, maybe see you there? Finish is Eleveden courtyard. I expect to be there to see and encourage them home. Probably take the opportunity to buy a few of the excellent Elveden sausages whilst I am there. Met Lord Inveigh in the shop last year and he persuaded me to try some, and enjoyed them whenever passing ever since.  One thing I share with Thetford Stalwart Councillor and former mayor Terry Lamb is a love of a good ENGLISH sausage.

As I am in area will call in to Thetford also, and will be back there on Thursday for the Great Festival Preview evening.



Attended Cllr Shirley Weymouth’s civic service in Gt Yarmouth on Sunday. The service took place in Gt Yarmouth Minster church which is the largest parish church in England and it also celebrated the ending of the second world war which was commemorated yesterday as VJ Day.

Both Shirley and the attending councillors and congregation made the usual commitments for the coming year and we sang some rousing hymns and finished with the National Anthem followed by tea and biscuits in the church.

As well as networking with Broadland, North Norfolk, Waveney and Gt Yarmouth councils I was able meet several more veterans of WWII including one lady who had served as a WAAF from 1941 to 1946 and she reminisced about VE day in Trafalgar Square as well as her time of service. Also met the son of one of the Gt Yarmouth drifter skippers who was drafted into mine clearance work and boom management in the North Sea in this area. Whilst we respect remember and honour those who serve our nation in the armed forces today, we should not forget just how involved the whole country was in the time of war in Europe. Every man woman and child was totally involved


I attended two VJ Day events yesterday representing Breckland and met a few ‘old soldiers’ some in their 90’s who had served in WWII and others who had served in Korea, Iraq, Falklands and so on. All had comrades who had died that we might live in freedom. At the address at one of these events the minister said that in only one year of the 70 since VJ Day had no British serviceman/woman been lost in combat somewhere in the world. Sharing with Ken Leggett, Chairman of Broadland Council afterwards we both agreed that we must never forget. I do believe that a younger generation is now more aware that a few years ago. The centenary of WWI has ensured this awareness, long may it continue.

At Breckland Council offices in Dereham on 3rd September at 9.45am we will be raising the Red Ensign in remembrance of the work done by the Merchant Navy. All who wish to may gather in the car park by the flag staffs at that time