February 2016

Elizabeth's Monthly Report February 2016

The Sixth Monthly Report from Elizabeth Truss MP


Elizabeth held a Flood Summit in Downham Market. She commented ‘I am very pleased to be hosting this flood summit with the focus on the collaborative work between the Environment Agency (EA) and organisations like the Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs). This was something I first raised in May 2014 as I was keen to see the excellent local knowledge of landowners, IDBs and councils utilised more effectively.”

Over 150 people attended a meeting with Elizabeth and East Harling Parish Council to the size and volume of HGVs travelling through East Harling Village. Elizabeth has repeatedly called on the county council to address the increasing issue of HGVs travelling through villages that do not have the capacity to cope with the larger heavy goods vehicles. She has asked that a nationwide review of the route hierarchy in Norfolk takes place. Elizabeth commented “I have repeatedly called on Norfolk County Council to address the route hierarchy in Norfolk. The size of lorries navigating their way through East Harling is unacceptable; the village is not designed to accommodate the size and length of modern day HGVs. I have called for a meeting with the leader of the council and I will continue to support local residents in finding a solution to this problem.’

Elizabeth hosted a Rail Summit with Members of Parliament, councils and business leaders to quiz Network Rail on the upgrade of the Ely North junction. The meeting comes as a result of months of lobbying by Elizabeth and other MPs to implement the upgrade of Ely North and to ensure the half hourly services on the Kings Lynn to London line are on schedule for 2017/2018. Following the publication of a review into Network Rail’s operation, Elizabeth Truss MP, George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, and Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, met the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to highlight the importance of the junction to East Anglia. Elizabeth commented ‘MPs, councils and business leaders are all fully committed to securing the upgrade of Ely North as soon as possible however the full cost and scale of the project is still not known. When I met Network Rail in December 2015 they agreed to explore the options for a feasibility study, time frames, implementation of half hourly services on the Fenline and what can be done to progress the scheme sooner rather than later. I have met the Transport Secretary and Rail minister to reiterate the fact that this is a critical rail junction in the eastern region serving a number of freight and passenger trains so it is vital the costs of the upgrade are identified and this is what I will be pressing Network Rail on.’

Elizabeth held a farming forum in Swaffham which provided local farmers with the opportunity for local farmers to meet with her for an informal discussion.


Elizabeth opens the new private dining room at the Bedingfield Arms with Malcolm Whittley, Catkin Parker and Stephen Parker.

Elizabeth officially opened a stunning new private dining room at the Bedingfeld Arms, Oxborough.  Joining owners Catkin and Stephen Parker, plus Swaffham based architect Malcolm Whittley, Elizabeth cut the ribbon to celebrate the new building which will accommodate special events and dining opportunities.

Elizabeth hosted a Business Forum held in the Bedingfeld Arms, Oxborough where some of the questions included exporting opportunities, apprenticeships, infrastructure and sources of funding.
Elizabeth visited STG Aerospace in Swaffham to hear about the development of lighting for aircraft.
Elizabeth was welcomed back to the King’s Arms in Swaffham by owner Claire Evans to show the new revamped restaurant and bistro plus the pop up shop.
Elizabeth visited STV in Little Cressingham, a leading supplier of pest control products, to mark the opening of the new warehouses. She commented that STV was one the “many businesses in deep rural Norfolk, doing great things” an added “STV are based in South West Norfolk but their ambitions are very much on a global scale. Exporting to Australia, New Zealand and the Asian markets it really is fantastic to see a Great British brand, researched and developed in Little Cressingham, utilised across the world.”
Elizabeth attended the inaugural TARA (Thetford Awards Recognising Achievement) held in the Carnegie Rooms, Thetford. She commented “it was wonderful to see so many of the volunteers, workers and unsung heroes that live in the Thetford area being recognised for the support and contribution that they make to the local community.


Elizabeth visited St Martin at Shouldham Primary School near Downham Market to find out how it is putting food and farming firmly on the curriculum to ensure all 230 pupils discover more about where their food comes from and the countryside around them.

Elizabeth with staff and pupils from St Martin at Shouldham Primary School


Elizabeth attended East Harling Parish Council to discuss HGV movements in the village. A delegation from East Harling will be joining Elizabeth at a meeting with George Nobbs, Leader of Norfolk County Council, in March.

Elizabeth visited The Magpie Centre, RDA, to hear about the work of the charity, to see new bespoke carriages and driving horse and to lend support to the Gator Appeal.