River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Westminster Diary - April

May 2016

Whilst spring maybe a bit reluctant to fully arrive in the Brecks, the latest technology has come to Thetford in the form of a new Microsoft Youth ‘Hub’ at the Benjamin Foundation. I visited the popular Meet Up Club based at the Redcastle Furze Community Centre, which provides a range of engaging activities for children and young people, from arts and crafts to cooking. Now, as part of the Youth ‘Hub’ Project, Microsoft is funding new computers and training for youth leaders to become ‘IT Champions’. This is an exciting addition to the centre and will help young people develop the computer skills they need for the future in a fun, safe setting. This month I also met with Bill Murphy, the Managing Director of Next Generation Access (NGA) at BT Openreach, to review progress with broadband connectivity and infrastructure in South West Norfolk. I am keen to ensure BT Openreach is transparent and communicative with consumers and businesses.

It is truly amazing how the advent of technology has impacted upon every aspect of our lives- even the food we eat! The OpenDefra data release of National Food Survey results show how our national tastes have changed as freezers and microwaves have become staples in our kitchens: from canned pudding and peas to frozen chips. It is also a wonderful sign for local suppliers of food and drink that the data shows we are increasingly more interested in where our food comes from. This was one of the points raised at a farming forum I held in the Kings Arms Coaching Inn, Swaffham. The old ball room, now a fantastic space for functions in the Kings Arms, easily accommodated the thirty farmers who were also keen to discuss the Rural Payments Agency, irrigation and reservoirs.

It was great to meet the staff, volunteers, riders and horses at the Magpie Centre, home of West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled, last month. I witnessed the fantastic work they do first-hand, even test driving their new wheelchair accessible carriage. I was also delighted to support the centre’s ‘Gator Appeal’; fundraising for a new ‘Gator’ 4x4 utility vehicle that will provide essential back-up in case of an emergency.

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