I write in response to the letter sent in from Chris Smith, Hunstanton, February 12.
I am afraid I have to take issue with the article that asks the decision makers to ‘have courage to admit error’. Using my arguments for the future development of Hunstanton and District, is not worthy of such a play on words.
My assertions for the need for year-round quality employment in the non-leisure and tourism sectors are well known locally.
Hopefully by now I would have guessed that my stance is quite clear. It is that the town and district is at a very low ebb in terms of (A) the age of local population, being over 40 per cent 65 years and over; (B) We have the highest amount of unemployed people of working age in the whole area; (C) That within the next ten years over 40 per cent of the local population will be 85 or older with one in four needing some care with their dementia, that we have little resources to cope with; (D) Currently Hunstanton has a recorded population of 4,025 persons, possibly the lowest since the Second World War; (E) Our local schools primary and senior are at their lowest intake for a very long time, some local village schools are closed. This caused by the lack of people of childbearing age in the area; (F) the second home situation is about 20 per cent in Hunstanton increasing as you go east to Burnham Market where the position I am told is 74 per cent second homes.
So no, my arguments are far from ‘We don’t need housing’, indeed if the town of Hunstanton, with its adjoining areas, including the villages alongside, are to have a future at all there has to be growth, new housing, new business, new money, indeed a completely fresh look at the future short, medium and long term.
In January at a full council meeting of West Norfolk Council, I with colleagues forwarded a motion to initiate a comprehensive study that would lead to the social and economic development of Hunstanton and area. The leader will take the motion to cabinet.
If anybody is interested, the report on the area is published and online at coastal community alliance, Town’s East. So I am sorry Chris Smith but I don’t believe there has been an error.
Cllr Richard Bird, Austin Street, Hunstanton