Duncan Baker, who worked for Bakers & Larners for many years prior to becoming MP for North Norfolk, has spoken of his shock after the devastating fire at Budgens of Holt.
I am thankful that no one was hurt and everyone is safe, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the emergency services – who came from as far afield as King’s Lynn and Stalham – who prevented the fire from spreading to neighbouring buildings.
Many of those who work at Budgens are my friends and former colleagues of many years, and I share their profound sense of loss. For our town to lose a supermarket, Post Office, cash machine, and laundry facility in a single night will have far-reaching consequences not only for Holt’s residents, particularly those who have been shielding or self-isolating due to coronavirus, but on North Norfolk’s food suppliers and the wider area too.
This morning I took part in a video conference with North Norfolk District Council and other stakeholders to establish what support is needed. I have requested that NNDC provides free car parking in the short term to help the local economy recover from the consequences of the devastating fire. We also discussed the need to provide ongoing support for Budgens staff; our support, if required, to CT Baker with Post Office provision; and to provide assistance for the self-isolating and most vulnerable with shopping supplies. Anyone with an urgent need for shopping can contact NNDC on their helpline number, 01263 516000. In the days and weeks to come, I stand ready to help anyone who has been affected in any way I can.
Mr Baker, who is also a district councillor for Holt, added: “For us to experience this loss so soon after the coronavirus crisis is truly devastating. But Holt is a strong, close-knit community and, working together, I am sure we can come through this, rebuild, and emerge even stronger.”