Covid recovery top priority for Fakenham's new county councillors
- Credit: Sarah Ravencroft
Fakenham and Wells' new county councillors have revealed their to-do lists after hard-fought election campaigns.
Michael Dalby was elected for Wells, Steffan Aquarone was voted in for Melton Constable and Tom Fitzpatrick was selected for the Fakenham division.
We asked each councillor what they have planned for their wards over the coming years and what they see as their top priority following their election.
Steffan Aquarone, Melton Constable, Liberal Democrat:
“Recovery from Covid is my top priority for our community.
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"Local businesses are vitally important for our area; they don’t just help us, they help others too, and many residents rely on local shops to get what they need each week.
“Some fantastic businesses have emerged during the lockdowns, and one of my goals is to meet with more local business owners to find out what they would like to get from the county council so they can grow and thrive.
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“As I promised in my election communications, my priorities for Melton Constable division will be giving communities more power to set road policy and promoting environmental initiatives such as funding for home insulation.
“I will continue to hold the administration to account in opposition, and in addition, one of the local issues that came up most frequently during the campaign was footpaths which I will work to establish more of in our local area."
Tom FitzPatrick, Fakenham, Conservative:
“My main focus at the moment is to work with colleagues to ensure that we emerge from the latest lockdown in the best way possible for the residents and businesses, both within Fakenham itself and the other parts of the division.
"I want this to be a great area to live, work and retire.
“Keeping Fakenham as a flourishing market town is vital and I want to work with the town council, plus district and our MP, for the funding which is now becoming available from central government to help revitalise the town, both by strengthening existing businesses and attracting new ones.
"As well as improving other facilities, making the town a focal point for the wider area, bringing in people who will spend their money locally to benefit the economy.
“Improving our infrastructure will continue to be a priority for me, not just good safe roads and footpaths, but across the wider definition.
“The library is important to me and I want to see its role expand to help businesses start-up and help people keep their skills up to date.
“I see the work of further improving broadband encouraging use of the Innovation Network as a real benefit to residents and businesses, as well as opening up the opportunity for online learning and jobs to everyone in the area.”
Michael Dalby, Wells, Conservative:
“Going door to door over the past few months I found a warm and welcoming community. My immediate priority is to support local businesses and the local economy after such a challenging year.
“We are all looking forward to the safe re-opening of our local shops, attractions, leisure facilities and businesses so everyone feels confident when shopping, and being out and about after this very difficult time.
“Working as I do as a trainee mental health nurse, I’m acutely conscious of the need to protect the most vulnerable members of society and I’m sure we’ll need to remain vigilant and careful for quite a while yet.
“As a 22-year-old, I’m also very familiar with the issues young people face and I’m keen to support young people whenever I can.
“I know Marie Strong [previous incumbent] did superb work over the past 12 years. I’m hoping to keep you as well-informed about current issues as Marie did and to help with problems or concerns.
“I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in the coming months and to sharing news and information with you.”