Its now only about three weeks until we know the findings of the Boundary Review and how it affects Eynsford Ward. Please contact me now, or when the LABC have pronounced and I will be happy to discuss and attend meetings in all the villages to explain the implications. All we know at the moment is that Eynsford Ward (Bawdeswell, Bylaugh, Foxley, Lyng and Sparham) will be affected, most probably by being amalgamated with another ward and that entity being expanded and developed as a two member ward.
Yes this will affect your representation, but I do commit, if re-elected, to continue with the same dedication as in the last twelve years.
Met with Roads minister Robert Goodwill yesterday and passed to him a list of problems, suggestions and complaints about the A47 between Easton and North Tuddenham, including a list of black-spots for accidents.
It is important that the Westminster team are on board for improving this road and it was good to see that apart from George Freeman we had four other MP’s Three County Councillors and Three other Breckland Councillors in attendance, and NCC director of transport and planning.
Below are the notes I gave to the minister.
Sweeping bends approximately less than a mile Honingham Colton crossroads. Accident spot
NEW Mattishall lane roundabout. This was built in the wrong place, also not as design promised with two lanes in/out East/West.
This road should be entry for West bound traffic only and all East bound users diverted along Berry’s Lane to the…
Wood Lane Junction which was the agreed ‘best’ site for the roundabout by ALL local groups including the family of and pressure group supporting the teenager whose death instigated the placement of a roundabout on A47. It should be noted that either Norfolk CC or the HA lied to local members at various meetings in that NCC says that HA had been fully consulted and advised of concerns and HA claimed they had not. both in public meetings in Honingham village Hall and Hockering Village Hall.
The reasons for the Berry’s Lane/Wood Lane crossing site being preferred were that…
1/ It was a major crossing for both local traffic and for North Norfolk residents avoiding Norwich and heading for Wymondham and South to Cambridge and London etc. Also Bernard Matthews, Norwich Airport + many local businesses supported this option NCC local member did not and suffered a local ‘vote of no confidence’
2/ It would have been more expensive, but with two lanes in/out East/West it would have prevented the holdups now experienced each day for up to 5 miles, (North Tuddenham) on the A47
3/ The condition of the surface evidenced particularly at the next two junctions ie Sandy Lane and the Street Hockering East both accident spots
4/ The layout of the next junction The Street Hockering West. Frequent minor accident spot and fatal.
5/ The entire road length is prone to accidents between junctions because of its varying camber, its narrowness for the volume of traffic, its winding nature, all combined with misuse of speed between the two sets of dualing
Two days at Norfolk Show, met up with surprising number of people from the ward this year. Sorted out two meetings plus discussed needs and even sorted out at least one problem.
Visited the Breckland stand they were pushing ‘keep fit’ with reduced Gym membership at the two Parkwood run sites in the district, promoting the Master Gardeners, and selling the Breckland Training services to all comers. Also went on the South Norfolk stand, twice the size and same number of visitors. One of the best ‘council stands’ was the Holt town stand. they were selling Holt as a town to visit and doing a very good job. As a 4 or 5 times a year visitor to Holt I certainly made a few contacts for next time, and spent a bit of money on the day.
As Flower and Garden show secretary for some years I did my usual visits here meeting old friends and seeing the very high standard of exhibits by RNHS members. two very busy, enjoyable and productive days.
Spent Friday at a Licensing chairmans briefing seminar in Cambs Guildhall. It was a intense day but worth the effort of going. The increase in licensing duties placed upon elected councillors means that it really is a never ending learning curve
Straight to Lyng for the Broad Band meeting. At last the village seems to be getting sorted with Intouch taking on the RWI tower and Wispire in the wings to offer an alternative and (hopefully) the actual fibre-optic getting to the village by September.
Will be off to the Royal Norfolk Show in a few minutes. To me this has been the premier event on the calendar for over 50 years. I visited the Costessey showground for the very first Norfolk Show there 60 years ago as a child and started my business visits in 1965. Whilst I no longer have a valid business reason for going it does give me the opportunity to meet with old friends, and these days as a councillor get to do some political networking. I shall also enjoy the odd hour at the grand ring and spend time with the livestock. If anyone from my ward at Breckland is there, do have a chat.
As some will know, for many years I organised the Gardeners Show at the RNS so I will be spending time there on both days and will be there today soon after judging is completed – about 9.30ish
Have a great day if you too are going
Just off to spend the day in the shop, if you follow my blog then 10% off any purchaser who mentions this posting……….
Really good OSC today, met the new CEO of Breckland in a formal way but able to quiz her on a variety of subjects about her vision for the future of Breckland, it looks OK at the moment.
As I said earlier, the big item was the constitution, if you are nit-picking I always say pic-nits, so we did. Returned it to the panel with lots of suggestions for minor changes, overall they had done a good job. the main adjustment I proposed was to enshrine in the constitution the absolute right of members of the public to ask questions at committee. This is done with many councils and I feel it establishes democracy in a unique way. This has to go through the system, but if it does it will be one of the actions I am most proud of. You the public will be able to submit a question on any subject related to the committee and get an answer, you will have the chance for a supplementary question, which may well have to be a written answer, but that is fair.
Lots of ideas came out of the Scrutiny training and these showed that we have an amazing unity of thought as councillors Lab, Con and Independent present. I will report on this when the notes come out rather than just talk about my contributions.
Local press again not in attendance at Scrutiny. Where are the ‘third estate’ these days, missing good stories?
As I said I am only a sub on this committee, but it is one of the most important to attend if you want to make a difference, well done guys.
This weekend will see the last village events in Bawdeswell’s old village hall. To me it always seems like the new hall as I have fond memories of parties and cinema and events on the wooden hut in the street, but thats old age for you. In July the hall will be demolished and work started on the NEW VILLAGE HALL which will be open and in use by this time next year. In the meantime temporary accommodation has been arranged in the area for all the many groups and clubs who meet regularly in the hall. We hope to see you all back in bright new facilities soon.
Well done to Project Bawdeswell and the parish Council, Village Hall Committee and all local helpers, fundraisers and villagers. I will see you at the Fete on Sunday 22nd.
Councillors do sometimes get the chance to do other than work or represent their wards. Last weekend I spent Friday and Saturday at the Network Norwich Exhibition. This is where Christian organisations get to share what they do with others and the wider community. It was opened by the new Lord Mayor of Norwich, with whom I had an interesting chat.
What is clear is that the Christian Church, (and no doubt other faith groups) does indeed contribute to our society in ways that not only help the disadvantaged in many ways but also saves government, local and national, billions of taxpayers pounds.
During the next couple of months a Norfolk wide survey is being made by the group WHO CARES I hope if asked you will take part by answering the single question and returning the form. A similar survey was done in Attleborough last year.
Are you a ‘mover and shaker’ in your community? July 11th sees the 2014 County Towns Initiative dinner in Norwich. This is where leaders of our public services, businesses and communities are invited to network and hear a good speaker, this year it is Don Latham, former CEO of West Wiltshire DC. I have met Don a number of times over the years and he is an interesting and often humorous speaker. Tickets will be limited but let me know if you can get along and I will book you in.
Scrutiny is one of the most important committees a councillor can attend. Here we examine the life of the council and hold the decision making/makers to account. In most councils the chairing of this committee is by a member of the opposition, at Breckland, which has a dominant lead party it is chaired by a member of the lead party. What this means to me is that as a member of that party we have to be very vigilant that we truly examine what is going on and in calling the executive to account.
Today I will spend the whole morning at Scrutiny training, and the whole afternoon at Brecklands Overview and Scrutiny Commission. I am only a substitute member, but usually attend whether acting as sub or not.
Todays agenda has two key items, we will have the first chance, as back benchers, to meet and debate with Anna Graves our new chief executive, she is to present her aims and aspirations. We are also examining the work of the Constitution Working Group who have completed a complete overhaul of Breckland’s Constitution. Thats over 180 pages of close print and essentially is our guide for the next several years. It is a working document but the CWG have spent over a year on a word for word examination – we get to nit-pic!
This is always a public meeting, why not try and attend?