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Turnstone column: John Maiden discusses after-effects of loss of Hunstanton’s Urban District Council in 70s





In his weekly Turnstone column, Hunstanton writer John Maiden discusses the after-effects of the loss of a town’s district council in the 70s…

In 1974 Hunstanton Urban District Council ceased to exist and nearly all of the town's most valuable assets were transferred to a new local authority serving the whole of West Norfolk.

The name given to this fledgling council was 'West Norfolk District Council', but by 1981 the name had changed to the present, rather cumbersome title of the 'Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk' (BCKLWN).

The former Home of Recovery in Hunstanton was given a new lease of life as apartments - but columnist John Maiden feels it could have been updated to provide a community hospital and jobs
The former Home of Recovery in Hunstanton was given a new lease of life as apartments - but columnist John Maiden feels it could have been updated to provide a community hospital and jobs

How anyone should think this change of name was appropriate for such a large rural area remains a mystery, but putting King's Lynn ahead of West Norfolk is precisely what the borough council has been doing ever since it came into existence.

This is not to say that the residents of Lynn are treated any better than those living elsewhere, but money spent on grandiose schemes in King's Lynn is disproportionate in comparison with the modest investment in the Hunstanton area.

One fairly recent example of this uneven distribution of resources has to be the cavalier response of the borough council to an unpaid debt of £2.75 million as the result of a loan in connection with the King's Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC).

Meanwhile, jobs are being lost in Hunstanton, and there appears to be no grand plan to encourage new employers to invest in the town or to increase the number of commercial units east of the A149.

Prior to 1974, King's Lynn had its own town council. The absence of such an authority adds weight to the argument that the borough council devotes a disproportionate amount of time and money to King's Lynn, at the expense of the other two towns and the numerous villages scattered throughout West Norfolk.

The combined effect of fewer jobs and the lack of investment leads to a greater need for commuting to King's Lynn, or further afield.

The only alternative to commuting is to move home. One does not have to look far to find someone who has moved closer to Lynn because their place of employment has relocated...



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