I would like to thank everyone who supported this campaign by signing my petition over recent weeks.
We gathered over 1000 signatures which is a huge response. It proves just how valued rural bus services are. I know that many people shared the page with friends on Facebook which really helped to spread the message.
I met with officials at Norfolk County Council recently to make sure that they understood the strength of support and to press the case for protecting the route. They told me that although First have decided to withdraw the No 12 route, Sanders and Konnect will be adapting their existing timetables to make sure local communities still receive a good bus service. The County Council officials told me that the services should be pretty much as good as the route withdrawn by First.
I am delighted that Sanders Coaches will be creating a new service, the No 10, which will serve Stalham, Catfield, Lundham, Horning and Hoveton. This sounds like really good news but I would encourage you to let me know what you think once the new timetables are published. The amended services will be the X11 operated by Sanders and the 71 operated by Konnect.
It is important that fares remain affordable and that the new routes continue to operate on a regular basis, so I would be really grateful for your feedback once the services start on 21 September.
Thank you to everyone who supported this important campaign!
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb says the planned closure of Stalham’s two banks is a ‘real blow for customers’ and must be followed by action to ensure businesses in the town do not suffer. He has written to the Chairman of Barclays urging them to think again. He is also writing to Nat West.
The North Sea surge of December 2013 had an impact on many homes and businesses along the North Norfolk coast. North Norfolk District Council, the Environment Agency and other organisations have worked together with those affected to help to rebuild lives and improve future resilience. Without new protection, the risk of further erosion remains for these homes, businesses and the Bacton Gas Terminal, a site of critical national infrastructure which processes up to 30% of the UK’s gas supplies.
Norman Lamb's 2015 Village Tour schedule
Across North Norfolk, hundreds of people are helping out Norman Lamb's campaign for re-election.
Over 700 poster boards have now been put up in gardens across the constituency. Nearly 200 people have donated to Norman's campaign in the past month, raising £6725 so far to boost Norman's campaign.
And over a hundred people have been delivering leaflets, knocking on doors, making phone calls, or helping out in the office to keep Norman's campaign running!
Liberal Democrats have set out a package of measure to help rural areas thrive.
The plans set out by Nick Clegg in a Countryside Charter will create more than 300,000 new jobs and ensure people living in rural areas have access to the facilities they need to prosper.
1 in 4 of us will develop a mental health problem at some point in our lives - and 75% of these conditions develop by the age of 18. If people don’t get the support they need in childhood and adolescence it can have an impact on the rest of their lives.
And in today’s budget, Liberal Democrats are acting decisively to make sure the best possible support is available, with £1.25bn of new investment in young people’s mental health services, and a clear blue print for delivering the transformation needed.
I can remember acutely the sense of anger that many people felt when in the early months of this government about changes to university funding and tuition fees. I personally regret deeply making a promise that we could not be certain we would be able to keep.However, I also believe that the changes we made were an improvement on the unfair system that had existed before.
Measures to grant the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) powers to fine UK supermarkets have been laid in Parliament, Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced.
The Adjudicator will be able to impose penalties on large retailers of up to one per cent of a companies’ annual UK turnover, dependant on the seriousness of the breach of the Code. This comes despite Tory opposition to grant the watchdog the powers it needed to do its job.
The Groceries Code Adjudicator was first introduced by local MP Norman Lamb in 2012 in his role as Minister for Consumer Affairs at the Department for Business.
Commenting, Norman Lamb said:
“It was clear to me as Minister that in some circumstances large supermarkets were using their buying power to pass on excessive risk and unexpected costs to suppliers. This could act against the long-term interest of consumers, by discouraging suppliers from investing and innovating in new product lines or production processes.
“I therefore wanted to create an independent adjudicator to look at cases where suppliers felt they had been treated unfairly, to ensure that supermarkets could not abuse their market position. It is frustrating that the scheme we initially introduced was not enough to ensure that suppliers got a fair deal, but I am glad that my Liberal Democrat colleagues at the Department for Business have continued to press forwards on this agenda, working to introduce strong new powers to fine supermarkets who treat farmers badly.”
The Code imposes on the supermarkets an overarching principle of fair dealing with their direct suppliers, including farmers.
It includes specific provisions governing terms of supply, timing of payments, marketing and promotional costs, and payments as a condition of being a supplier.
The Code does not govern issues relating to pricing.
These new measures will add to existing powers to issue supermarkets with recommendations as to their future conduct, and to ‘name and shame’ those that have breached the Code.
Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“The Groceries Code Adjudicator is a Liberal Democrat idea and was designed to make sure suppliers, such as farmers and small businesses, are given a fair deal by supermarket giants.
“Despite Tory opposition this important final step will give the GCA the power it needs to address the issues in the supply chain, between grocery retailers and their direct suppliers.
“I am pleased today to be giving the Adjudicator the final element in a set of powers that will give this new body all the tools it needs to succeed in this challenging and important role.”
Notes to editors:
The Groceries Code Adjudicator was created in 2013 to enforce the Groceries Supply Code of Practice that, since 2009, has governed the commercial relationships between the UK’s ten largest supermarkets and their direct suppliers of food, drinks, and a range of household products.
These measures are subject to the successful completion of parliamentary process; including passage through the Joint Committee of Statutory Instrument and further debate in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
A copy of the statutory instrument can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi
A copy of the GCA guidance on the principles that will be used to calculate the level of any fine can be found at:
In the three months to November, the number of people out of work in the UK fell by 58,000 to 1.91m - its lowest level for more than six years.
The unemployment rate now stands at 5.8 per cent of the adult working population, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Here in North Norfolk, unemployment has continued to fall, with the out-of-work claimant count standing at 570 in December, down from 1,382 when Labour left office in 2010. The youth claimant count has also fallen from 405 in May 2010 to 180 in December.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said:
“Today’s larger than expected fall in unemployment shows that our recovery remains on track here in North Norfolk.
“Because the Liberal Democrats are in government, the country has a recovery plan that has job creation at its heart - only we can keep the recovery on track. Earnings are continuing to outstrip inflation, and the benefits of the recovery are starting to flow into people’s wage packets.
“But we shouldn’t be complacent: Britain’s recovery is threatened by weak economies in Europe and slowing growth in key emerging markets. It is more important than ever that we remain focused on our plan to rebuild our economy fairly.”
Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“Today we’ve had another set of encouraging employment figures, which show that the strong performance of the labour market has been broadly spread.
“This has led to an almost record share of the UK working age population being in work. Equally important is that we are now seeing above inflation wage increases for workers’ pay.
“However, there is no doubt that more needs to be done. Youth unemployment remains too high. That is why we will continue to encourage firms to invest in the UK and equip British workers with the skills they need to compete in the jobs market.”