YES YOU CAN HELP SAVE A LIFE

Spent part of today with the lovely ladies of Swaffham Lionesses who have raised £250.00 for Norfolk Accident Rescue copy and past link below

ONLY 2 AND A BIT DAYS TO GO!! Closes 30/5/15! An urgent appeal by the Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS). We currently have on loan an automatic CPR machine called a Lucas 2. It has already saved at least one life in Dereham. Unfortunately we have to send it back soon, so we need to buy one. But they cost nearly £10,000. We have applied to the Aviva Community Fund for the money, but to win, we need your support. All you have to do is register and vote for our project. It will cost you nothing – just a couple of minutes of your time. Your vote could literally help save someone’s life!

TODAYS EASTERN DAILY PRESS

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I AM SO PLEASED

to have been elected chairman

I just wanted to say thank you to all those who have sent greetings on all social media on my election as Chairman of Breckland for the coming year.

It was a great honour and a great surprise to be asked a couple of weeks ago. Normally you get a year as vice chairman first, but in this case last years VC did not stand for re-election. You are only ever asked once and only serve once in Breckland. This is not a political position or political vote at all and I will now be a-political for the next year. When elected you are immediately thrown in the deep end with the Full Council meeting, and this time it was a large one with a number of twists, I hope I did not too badly. I was pleased to have been proposed by Bill Borrett (conservative) who I work closely with in my ward and by Terry Jermy who is leader of the labour group and a member in Thetford.

Being chairman means I am the civic lead in the district, and as such will attend the many events and functions across the county and wider where I will represent the District. I already have 9 engagements over the next 4 weeks, and expect a few more. These range from church services to military parades. From sports events and speech days to a puppy show. I am told to expect to represent the district at around 150 events in my year.
Like most chairmen I have chosen a charity for the year, and this is Norfolk Accident and Rescue Service. I hope that you will support them also and more details can be found on.

nars.org.uk -

AFTER THE RAZZAMATAZ

Elections, you love them or hate them, but they are the keystone of democracy. The saddest thing is when we hear people say – I never vote it, makes no difference, I am only one, and so on.

Elections do matter, you may not win, or your opinion may not be the successful one, but the fact that you did vote and did register your opinion, be it in support or in opposition to the winner does make a difference to the cumulative opinion of the whole electorate. This is in fact why I totally support the first past the post system, but i will deal with that another time.

Both the general election and the district elections are now over for five and four years respectively. We now have to do the best for the communities we have been elected to represent. For me this is Breckland Councils Ward of Upper Wensum which is the villages of (in Alphabetical order) – Bawdeswell – Billingford – Bintree – Brisley – Bylaugh – Nth Elmham – Elsing – Foxley – Gateley – Guist – Hockering – Lyng – Sparham – Nth Tuddenham – Twyford. This is a two member ward and Bill Borrett and I visited each village in turn, twice, with some areas getting three visits and every house had a call from us with a leaflet drop and a chat on about 20% of doorsteps. We also worked with George Freeman who was elected MP for the constituency with some door knocking, leafletting and politics in the pub.

During the two weeks since the 7th May I have been attending parish council meetings, there has been eleven, Bill and I have attended five each with us both at the eleventh. We have both, along with other councillors attended induction sessions, had our photo’s taken for the website and security passes. had meetings with officers at Breckland regarding our positions held within the council. had meetings with other councillors and of course dealt with issues for the public.

There is lots going on in Upper Wensum with Planning such as the issues at Billingford and Lyng Easthaugh, which both affect the river Wensum. other developments which are in application or on the horizon in many other villages all of which mean meetings with officers, or on sites, and the endless stream of e-mails and telephone calls. We are both getting back in the swing after six weeks of elections taking the forefront of our time.

Tomorrow is the first FULL COUNCIL meeting and we will all have confirmed our roles for the next period. New committees, new duties and responsibilities. New colleagues to get to know.

Support your local councillor by making sure we know what is going on and what your first concerns are – we are your representatives.

COUNCILLORS REPORT – 1ST MAY 2014 / 10TH MAY 2015

 

2014/2015 was my 12th year representing Eynsford ward and was the last year of my third term on Breckland Council. One of my proudest boasts is that Breckland has achieved most of its promises made during the three election campaigns I have fought. I am also proud that I have done all that I personally promised on the doorstep in 2003/07/11.

I am pleased to have been elected to the newly formed Upper Wensum Ward this month, and look forward to serving for the next four years. The village now forms part of a two member ward and covers 15 villages in North East Breckland

Individuals who want to see the promises we have made for the next four years can just look  at our manifesto and hold us to account in 2019.

In addition I have been proposed as Chairman of Breckland for the coming year and expect to elected Chairman on 21st May. 

Breckland Council  has achieved for the people of Breckland a high standard of service, compared to other neighbouring local authorities whilst also achieving the lowest District Council Tax in the Country. This has been achieved by the sustained policy of investment and re-investment within the community and elsewhere to earn for us all, the shareholders (residents) in Breckland, a dividend which is the equivalent of the council tax charge. It should be noted that this is UNIQUE among all district councils in the country. 

As a council we have achieved in the past year huge advances in areas of:-

Environmental services – with increased recycling and local clean-ups like sponsored litter picks in partnership with the villages and with commercial companies.

Economic Development – with Grants4Growth to the value of over £300,ooo allowing the creation of at least 38 jobs and the protection of almost 200. In addition the REV ACTIVE projects have drawn in £3.2m and provided 400 SME’s with one on one support creating or safeguarding  an almost 200 additional jobs and a saving of £10m to SME’s and adding an additional £8m GVA to the Breckland economy

Areas of Finance – with a balanced budget through to 2018 and  a spend of £30m  to suppliers contributing to the general economy. We have set aside funding pots for community projects which are available for your community to draw on in both areas of Match Funding and Pride plus and often more important given advice and support. The Anglia Revenues Partnership is now one of the leading such organisations in the world and gives huge advantages to claimants whilst savings are made to tax payers and earnings for our communities

Community Development - promoting sport and activities, Switch and Save, small and large grants, pride in Breckland, cultural activities a huge list with much more coming. It is our policy to work with communities

Community Safety – 8.8% reduction in ASB’s in the district, closer working with Police and the CAG, SNAP etc partnerships and many other initiatives 

All of these within the district and provided from Breckland resources, officers and members working with you, the community. Fuller details can be supplied by email on request or can be gleaned from the Breckland website or other publicly available sources

Personally – During the last year I have been pleased to support the villages in the ward  by attending parish meetings and events including around 90% of parish councils. I have represented the community at planning meetings and within cabinet and council to gain approval for cash grants and other support. I have attended a number of meetings with small local groups who have particular concerns and will always seek to do this. This does include groups of neighbours in their homes. 

I have represented many individuals in areas such as planning or benefits, and in matters relating to County or Westminster, and following my recent re-election will continue to do so in the newly formed Upper Wensum Ward which we are all part of.

I have been at the centre of achieving better broadband for Norfolk and have supported Breckland in getting almost £2m investment in the district in addition to the County/Central government initiative.

I have been played a central part, with others, in the efforts to gain a safer link road between the A47 and A1067 and seeking a complete NDR which is now under investigation.

I have supported the efforts to dual the A47 which has now received funding with our MP and have met the last three transport  minister’s on site over the last few years to further this aim.

I have continued to support villages in  the ward in funding applications from Breckland and elsewhere. This enables our communities to grow and prosper

During the year 2014 – 2015 I have attended a total of 218 meetings solely on behalf of my Ward (Eynsford). 

These have included:-

105 meetings within Breckland offices or outside but on direct council business. They will have included Council Meetings and Hearings. Briefings and one on one meetings with officers. Training sessions and meetings with other members on specific council affairs as related to my position within the council. I have also spent time shadowing officers working in ‘Public Protection’ to improve my understanding of their duties. (This does not include political meetings) 42 of the above were constituted public meetings of the council – 23 were committee’s on which I am or was a member, and 19 were ‘in attendance’ which means I had a personal or ward interest in matters on the agenda. The remainder where briefings or similar.  I have a 98% attendance record for the year

54 meetings in the 5 parishes of Bawdeswell, Bylaugh, Foxley, Lyng and Sparham. They will have included Parish Council meetings, Public meetings such as those on Broadband, Planning etc.

(They would not have included attendance at events or social occasions which make an additional 15/20 – such as Fete’s etc) 

59 ‘Other’ events. These would have included attendance at ADA or IDB’s on which I am a Breckland Representative. Meetings of SNAP or CAG, Participatory Budgeting and like duties taken on behalf of either Breckland Council or the Ward

Of these 8 were full day events (or combinations making more than an eight hour day)  including meetings in London, Gt Yarmouth and Norwich taking me outside the district

**I am currently a member of – The Council, Cabinet, Licensing (chairman), Licensing Sub Committee (co-chairman), Parking Sub Committee, Norfolk Rivers IDB and the Breckland appointee on the EELGA Members Training Panel (this has not met in 2014/5). During the year I have also been a member of the General Purposes Committee and a Substitute on the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, both of which ceased when appointed to Cabinet in October. I remain as chairman of Licensing. I am also Member E-Champion for Breckland.

During this year I have had no ‘Declarations of Interest’ to report.

All of the above is within the public domain in one form or another 

Much of the above information can be verified on the Breckland District Council website from the homepage. Two clicks from ‘Find Your Councillor’ tab.

I am happy to provide a hard copy on request.

** this will change with my appointment at Chairman.

Gordon Bambridge

Email – gordon.bambridge@breckland.gov.uk

Telephone – 01603 880557  //  07540 973229

 

NEW MEMBER DAYS

Just completed two days of new member induction at Breckland. I was there alongside a few of the returning members to assist and support

Being elected Councillor for a Ward can be both daunting and exciting. Learning to be a councillor takes a bit of time, and I am pleased to have been part of the team at Breckland who have devised a programme to help new colleagues get up to speed quickly. As someone said its where to find the toilets – but – it’s also how to present a case which is life changing to a constituents family at a full council meeting. Apart from the training programme which will take a year, each councillor will be allocated a ‘mentor’ who has agreed to be available for telephone and/or one on one advice sessions.

I do wish all elected members congratulations and hope that they will settle in to the Breckland Community, This council is unique in many ways, we are proud to boast of our low council tax and high service levels. We are pleased to be able to still be able to give grants to communities because our earnings from investments is equal to our community  tax. and we are still, through our business teams, able to help SME’s in the district draw in outside funding to enable employment opportunities and job protection right across the district. Whatever political affiliation, I hope we can all pull together for the good of our community

Out in the non-political world my oldest daughter who is an artisan jewellery designer has opened a small retail shop and studio in Elm Hill this week. She works mostly in silver but also a bit in gold, with precious and semi precious stones. Every item in the shop is designed by her in Norfolk and hand made here, so every item is unique, so if you are looking for a special gift why not give Stoned and Hammered a try.

PLANNING

First week of new council and Planning seems to be the big thing again….

I remember when first elected I was thrown in the deep end with a planning application, which 12 years on still rumbles in the background and is likely to be raised again in a few weeks time.

For now we have issues in Lyng with a leisure complex planning application. In Sparham with a Care Home application. In Hockering with several passed or in outline applications, still to get up to date on these as its a new village to me. In Bawdeswell with problems of access and enforcement. Planning is one of those area’s where usually all goes well, but sometimes we get a run like now when it seems everything hits the wire at the same time. I do get on well with the planners in Breckland and some new protocols mean that I am getting even prompter answers. For example questions raised on Monday evening and e-mailed by me at about 11.00pm Monday were answered by 10.00am on Tuesday – not always that quick, but the system does work.

So far this week we have had six Parish Councils between us and I have attended three. I have two more to go to,  tonight and Thursday night.

Off to Member Induction today and tomorrow. As a returning member the whole thing is not essential, but it has been in my portfolio, and I have been involved in member training longer that anyone else at Breckland so will be supporting new members through this. Plus of course you never cease to learn. Bit jealous they will be getting the new IT kit we have sorted out before me, but getting a new member online with the local government systems is a real priority in these modern times.

FIRST DAY BACK

May 11th is the first day of the new council. Elections were over on Thursday but for the district were counted on Friday and Monday is our first day working.

As I said yesterday I had a series of touching base brief meetings in Breckland in the morning….

Bawdeswell Parish Council in the evening. As usual a full agenda, this was largely taken up with the new village hall, almost on the point of hand over. This has been a tremendous effort by the village and by a small team of dedicated locals led by James Lilwall and fully supported by the Parish Council. We are all looking forward to having the June meeting in the HALL.

Next Monday is their AGM. Will need to prepare my report for that. More later.

A number of Planning and Licensing issues to take up with Breckland Officers, so completed that before bed.

Number of E-mails in the day regarding Lyng Easthaugh. We have a looming application with implications for – Residents – Highways – The Environment – so can expect a busy few weeks on that

CAMPAIGN DIARY – LAST ENTRY

Saturday…..

As with all elections we have a kind of wash up meeting to discuss the highs and lows. As you can imagine after such a good victory it was a happy time. Most friends who had stood for re-election got in, we will all miss Robert Kybird who just failed to win his seat in Thetford, along side those who did not stand. However we are also meeting several new colleagues.

The balance at Breckland will be about the same. The reduced chamber will be 49 councillors in all. 41 of these will be Conservative, 4 UKIP, 2 Labour and 1 Independent. This means the official opposition will be UKIP.

I have not checked but was informed I got the third highest personal vote in Breckland, and that after well over 200 were rejected or spoiled. I do thank the returning officer and all staff at Polling Stations and at The Count for all the work they put in. Those who sponsored me by signing my papers and any who passed on leaflets or door knocked.

Sunday……

More good wishes in church this morning, then a quiet day after 5 weeks campaigning, one day election, one day vote and one day meetings.

Monday……

I am a new councillor with a meeting at 9.00am and another at 7.00pm, two meetings Tuesday, one meeting Wednesday plus the induction day, one meeting Thursday plus the induction day. Good thing I am semi-retired.

The Blog will continue, and I intend to be much more of an IT literate councillor in the future

 

CAMPAIGN DIARY – RESULTS

Friday……

We are all aware of the general election results which confounded the commentators, but which did mean that the people of the country decided that the most important issue was the economy, and that they would give the conservative administration the chance to spend another period to balance the books of the nation

Here in Breckland a similar story unfolded. The new reduced member council was re-elected or elected with a membership of 41 Conservatives, 4 UKIP and 2 Labour members. This means that the essential direction of the council will continue as we move towards running an efficient council which also balances the books whilst giving a maximum service to the people of the district. (Full details on the Council website but for Upper Wensum Ward copied below)

On a personal level I was re-elected to the revised two member ward with a substantial share of the vote. I would like to thank all those who voted for me, and those who have since sent good wishes.

As a Breckland Councillor I will be meeting with colleagues on Saturday morning where we will plan for the next year and indeed four year term. I will continue to report to you vial this blog

 

Name of

Candidate

Description

(if any)

Number of

Votes*

BAMBRIDGE, Stanley Gordon

The Conservative Party Candidate

1812

Elected

BORRETT, William Patrick

The Conservative Party Candidate

1965

Elected

SAVORY, Gillian

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

1185

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.