COLUMN: Bacon Bits - ‘Support for locally set limits gathering a real sense of speed’
My campaign to give people a greater say over local speed limits is growing.
I am delighted to have the backing of 52 parish councils so far including Roydon, Gissing, Shelfanger, Brockdish, Needham and the Tivetshalls.
At its heart, my campaign is about putting more faith in the local knowledge of local people, which is too often overlooked.
Highways engineers certainly know about road design but local residents know which local roads are dangerous, which corners are to be taken extra carefully and which roads are rat-runs.
I am grateful to all the parishes that have pledged their support. If you want to know more, please get in touch at email@example.com.
JUST THE TICKET
The Great Eastern Mainline, which runs through Diss, is tremendously important to the economy of Norfolk and Suffolk.
But anyone using this line will know that too often we have to ride in ageing trains moving at some of the lowest speeds on the railway.
It is therefore good news that an ambitious plan to upgrade our creaking rail infrastructure has been backed by the Chancellor and the Department for Transport.
The plan was drawn up by regional MPs, local authorities and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
It will require train operators to have a plan to make our rail service better, including new rolling stock when the next franchise tender is announced next year.
I look forward to seeing the plan become a reality soon.
You may also have seen the Chancellor’s announcement of a special £15 million fund for the repair of roofs and guttering on vulnerable listed church buildings.
This is welcome news.
Many church buildings are sadly in need of urgent repair. 887 places of worship appeared on the 2014 Heritage at Risk register published by English Heritage, including 13 in south Norfolk.
Your church need not be on the Register to receive a grant.
Eligible parishes can apply for grants between £10,000 and £100,000 if their church buildings require urgent roof and gutter repairs.
The deadline for submissions is January 30, 2015 and the application process is straightforward.
Please go to www.lpowroof.org.uk for more details.
Finally, I would like to wish readers of the Diss Express and all my constituents a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2015.
n Richard Bacon is MP for South Norfolk