Westminster Diary - August
Living in such a beautiful part of the country means we have access to some fabulous food like the Norfolk Peer potato. The Norfolk Peer are grown in the free draining Breckland soil. The unique semi-continental microclimate assists the development of the potato. The land is carefully prepared by Heygate Farms with irrigation continuously supplied to encourage a consistent growing environment. I have walked round the fields to see the lines of pipes providing the water that helps produce such a tasty potato. It is so popular that at the launch event at Tesco Extra in Kings Lynn, celebrating the new season of the Norfolk Peer potato, celebrity chef Galton Blackistone told me he uses it in the BBC programme Saturday kitchen. Another aspect of living in Norfolk is our long association with the military. I felt very honoured to join service personnel and their families at RAF Marham to watch a fly past from the new Lightning Jets. Due to arrive at Marham in 2018, Norfolk will be the home of the Lightning – the world’s only supersonic jet. Over 100 contractors are being used to prepare Marham with the vast majority of trades/staff sourced locally. Further contracts will also be awarded at the end of 2016 and this will be a fantastic boost to the area offering many opportunities for jobs and skills. I also had the opportunity to discuss the valuable work done by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service with Chief Fire Officer Roy Harold and Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green. Meeting in the Swaffham station, we looked at the role of search and rescue, particularly during inland rescues, but also the collaborative work with the Environment Agency to tackle flooding. Unfortunately this summer’s weather seems to be creating its own challenges with the combination of sunshine and extremely torrential down pours.