It’s been a busy month around North Norfolk with some really important local and national news which will be hugely beneficial for North Norfolk.
Billions pledged for two new hospitals to help our area!
Norfolk has recently seen the largest ever investment in local hospitals, with the James Paget University Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital having been included in the Government's new rebuild programme for brand new hospitals. I am proud to be part of the Health Department team delivering this health revolution for the county.
This means that residents from across the constituency will have access to brand new state of the art hospitals, wherever they live. I’m pleased to have also helped deliver the mental health clinics into Cromer Hospital, and recently visited them to be told they are working well.
Extra funding for sports centres across North Norfolk
It has been fantastic to see £58,252 of government money hitting North Norfolk grassroots sport! This will fund sports improvements locally, whether that be new goalposts in Stalham or new maintenance equipment at Sheringham Football Club.
For participants and fans alike, this money will have a real benefit for communities across North Norfolk. Full list of organisations in North Norfolk who benefited from the scheme:
• Stalham and Brumstead Recreation Ground - £1,063
• Stalham Town Football Club - £3,600
• East Ruston Football Club - £1,440
• Gimingham United Football Club - £1,261
• Runton Football Club - £3,083
• Sheringham Football Club - £24,165
• Cromer Adult and Youth Football Club – £1,440
• Holt United Football Club – £22,200
Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
This is a cause which is very close to my heart. I've raised over £7000 for local charities that offer some form of help when times are hard. We need to ensure that people have enough support when they're struggling - whether that's an informal family and friend network or professional help through medical care.
I have pushed and pushed for more mental health services in North Norfolk and worked very closely with mental health campaigners ever since my election on this. As mentioned previously, improvements can now been seen at Cromer Hospital with the new mental health clinics and walk-in support on certain Friday's for those in need.
For this year’s mental health week, I shared posts to highlight different areas and ways of supporting those who are affected by their mental well-being.
Our latest Apprenticeship Fair
Before I became an MP, I employed many apprentices and can honestly say we have some of the brightest, most enthusiastic and talented young people throughout North Norfolk.
That’s why it was great to be a part of the North Norfolk Apprenticeship Fair on 26th May at North Walsham Community Centre, bringing many young people together so that they have a chance to see what opportunities are available for them out in the world.
I’d love to see more and more employers using their apprenticeship levy and taking on young people into apprenticeships. The difference they can make to your organisation is immense!
Exciting plans for Bacton Gas Terminal
I recently gave a speech in Parliament about the future of Bacton Gas Terminal, where I spoke in the Energy Bill about the strategic importance of Bacton, our hydrocarbon gas processing plant responsible for 1/3 of the UK’s gas supply.
Ever since the war in Ukraine started, Bacton has been working overtime as a key site, importing and exporting gas between Belgium and the UK.
Bacton can act as a major hub for blue and green hydrogen production, to power London and the South East. We now need government momentum, investment and support to seize on this revolution.
Bacton can also play a pivotal role in securing our own energy production and security, it will drive down carbon emissions and put North Norfolk further on the map for the renewable energy revolution.
Fighting to protect our banks and local services
Fighting hard on local issues for constituents has always been very important to me. You may have heard of recent plans where Holt Medical Practice is considering closing Blakeney Surgery. For many that use this facility, it is worrying news. I am doing all I can to help. I have already had 434 responses to pass to the health services.
We rely on local services in an area with many older residents. That's why I fought to save Barclay's bank in Holt, helped save the Post Office in Sheringham and fought to retain postal services in Wells and in Trunch.
I am extremely disappointed to hear that Lloyds will shut their North Walsham and Cromer branches later this year. When I took the call, I expressed how dismayed I was by the decision and how yet again it would seem that corporate social responsibility means very little in the modern world to our banks.
To help try and stop this, I am running a petition to collect data on the importance of retaining these two branches - if you could spend just a few minutes filling out the below survey, it will give me a strong base to push back from in terms of how this affects you. I am having further meetings and will update you accordingly.
Your views are so important - please help me ensure that they are heard loud and clear!
Future’s Week at The Federation of North Walsham Infant and Junior School
I recently enjoyed a fantastic afternoon speaking to the absolute superstars at the Federation of The North Walsham Infant and Junior School for their Futures Week. The children were amazing. Confident, bright and engaged with some really interesting questions. My favourite being “Do you want to be King?”.
I truly believe it is inspiring for children of all ages to meet and engage with people of all professions which is why I think Futures Week is a fantastic idea. Thank you to Mrs Read, the teachers and all the students for having me.
And finally… my eye surgery success!
The amazing team at Cromer Hospital have given me the all clear that my complex cataract surgery has been a success. I now have 25% of the vision back in my left eye that I lost. That has also helped fixed my squint. I am unbelievably grateful to the medical staff for all they have done for me. But also a huge thank you for all the well wishes you have given me.
I look forward to sending you all another update next month.
Duncan Baker MP