Turnstone, by John Maiden, Tuesday, June 6

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Today marks the 73rd anniversary D-Day, when allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy.

It then took the combined efforts of Britain, the USA, Canada, Russia and many other countries to defeat the Nazi regime.

By way of contrast, in a referendum last year, a majority in England and Wales voted to leave the European Union. And just last week Donald Trump decided to take the USA out of the Paris Accord, intended to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases.

In two days’ time voters in this country will decide if a team negotiating terms for leaving the EU will be led by Mrs May or Mr Corbyn.

Whatever happens later this week at the polls, it seems to me that it may well proved to be highly unlikely that the 27 countries staying in the EU will agree to terms that would make leaving their ‘club’ more attractive than remaining a member…

Closer to home, West Norfolk Council never ceases to amaze me by its failure to learn from past mistakes, especially when it comes to the lost jewels in Hunstanton’s crown.

For example, on July 31 2007, in a West Norfolk Regeneration Special, the Lynn News reported: “The council feels regeneration plans for the town should capitalise on its Victorian heritage and that a pier will bring in the tourists.”

Of course, in 2002 the council had the ideal opportunity to do just that, when CHS Amusements Ltd submitted plans for the ‘hangar’ as a replacement for the pier entrance building destroyed by fire.

A legal opinion obtained by the council in September 2002 could not have been clearer.

It stated that if CHS was claiming the right to build on the pier site as the council’s ‘pier’ lessee, the council should insist that the pier was rebuilt, or tell CHS to vacate the site.

Unfortunately, by this time the council had already ignored the advice of its own Conservation Areas Advisory Panel in order to grant permission for the incongruous non-pier building, without first discharging a statutory duty to consult English Heritage.

Of course, this does not explain why the council has allowed 10 years to elapse without honouring a pledge in the 2007 Conservative election manifesto to reinstate Hunstanton Pier.

True, in 2012 the council did support an unsuccessful Civic Society bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to rebuild the pier, but the council has done nothing to make this happen.

When the hangar was put up for sale in 2015 the council failed to enter into negotiations to acquire the building as a first step towards honouring the election promise.

The council even rejected a Civic Society application for the pier site to be identified as an Asset of Community Value.

Ten years after saying the town should build on its Victorian heritage, the council seems bent on removing every remnant of the Victorian pier from the beach.

What if anything does this tell us about pre-election pledges?

Well, perhaps that promises in manifestos should be treated as aspirtions and not cast-iron pledges.