Westminster Diary - March
Last month I was delighted to join farmers from across the county at the Norfolk Farming Conference. It was great to see such a an excellent turnout and in my capacity as Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs I announced the launch of the new Food Enterprise Zones. The zones will help ensure farmers can grow more top quality produce but also expand the food industry; worth more than £100 bn a year to the UK economy. I am also keen to see Norfolk producers apply for protected food name designation in order to access the significant sales this advantage brings. We take great pride in our local produce so there is no reason why we can not achieve branding success. We have Wensleydale cheese, Melton Mowbray Pork Pie, why not a Norfolk speciality up there sharing the aisle space too!
There was very positive news for local schools in South West Norfolk when the Education Secretary wrote to me to confirm that Downham Market Academy, Nicholas Hamond Academy and Marshland High School have all secured funding for building projects. I was pleased to support these very worthwhile applications. For far too long schools in South West Norfolk have not had the investment they need so I am extremely pleased to see the government prioritising funding for schools in our area. Education is vital to make sure the next generation have the skills they need and I will continue to support schools so that they do have the buildings, teaching staff and leadership to offer South West Norfolk pupils the opportunities they so richly deserve.