COLUMN – BACON’S BITS: ‘Post Office move would harm Diss Heritage Triangle project’

Prospective parliamentary candidate for South Norfolk, Richard Bacon.
Prospective parliamentary candidate for South Norfolk, Richard Bacon.

Just before Parliament dissolved, I took part in business a backbench business debate on post office closures and raised the specific issue of Diss Post Office directly with the Minister for postal services, Margot James.

Diss’ Crown Post Office is very much at the heart of the community and, following the completion of the multi-million pound Diss Heritage Triangle project, it will be even more central.

Post office bosses say that their goal is to maintain ‘convenient access’, but the best way to do that is to keep Diss Crown Post Office where it is

Richard Bacon

The proposal to close the post office can only damage the Heritage Triangle project.

I cannot blame WH Smith for seeking to take advantage of a commercial opportunity, but it will be apparent to anyone using the Diss store that its access is not even remotely suitable.

Post office bosses say that their goal is to maintain ‘convenient access’, but the best way to do that is to keep Diss Crown Post Office where it is.

– Neighbourhood Plan

By now, everyone should have received a leaflet detailing the first steps seven parishes are taking towards producing a neighbourhood plan for the district.

Existing communities might be much more willing to accept new homes if they were allowed to decide where they go, what they look like and who should have the first chance to live in them.

A strong neighbourhood plan can help to achieve this, as local communities can use it to set planning policies.

The partner councils in the plan are rightly starting a conversation with local residents. This is your chance to ensure your ambitions for your community are heard.

Diss Town Council and its partner councils in Burston and Shimpling, Brome and Oakley, Palgrave, Roydon, Scole and Stuston deserve praise for this welcome step.

I stand ready to assist them in any way I can.

– Diss Corn Hall

It is a real delight to see that Diss Corn Hall has finally been reopened to the public.

It is a magnificent building and has seen many auspicious occasions, such as the town’s welcome home parade for the Royal Anglian Regiment, better known as the Vikings.

We are so lucky in Diss to have a venue that can still attract quite big names to come and perform here.

Few places in the county outside Norwich can boast such a venue.

I very much look forward to taking my first tour of the newly-reinvigorated Corn Hall.

– Use your vote

Finally, it will have escaped no-one that a general election is looming.

Some people say politicians never listen, but your vote is your voice.

If you choose not to vote, you are choosing to stay silent.

No matter which box you decide to cross next month, please remember to use your vote.