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Fears raised over new Thetford Greater Development Partnership board

PUBLISHED: 11:27 27 May 2015 | UPDATED: 11:27 27 May 2015

New Breckland Council Chief Exec Anna Graves. Picture: Matthew Usher.

New Breckland Council Chief Exec Anna Graves. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2014

The board of a new partnership charged with keeping the community and local groups engaged with Thetford’s impending growth has come under fire before it has even started work.

Breckland Council is in the final stages of setting up the Thetford Greater Development Partnership, to bring together stakeholders including members of Thetford Town Council, local businesses and representatives from Breckland and Norfolk County Council, to steer the building of 5,000 homes.

But fears have been raised that the board is a replacement for the unpopular Moving Thetford Forward, after it emerged that only one of its members would be from Thetford Town Council.

But at the town council’s annual meeting last Tuesday, Robert Kybird, mayor, said the town would not engage with the partnership on its current terms.

“We agreed the council would not be part of that organisation unless there was a far more democratic representation,” he said.

Councillor Terry Jermy said the first meeting was to take place in June and urged the town council to hurry up Breckland in getting an extra place on the board.

“Have they learned anything from Moving Thetford Forward about listening to people?

“Having just one councillor on there is ridiculous,” he said.

Corinne Fulford, a member of the public, also raised concerns about William van Cutsem, director of Pigeon, being offered a place on the board. Pigeon are the developers behind the 5,000 home Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) development.

She said: “Does the town council think a beneficiary of the growth should be on the board?”

A spokesman for Breckland Council said: “Breckland is pleased to be involved in the creation of a new partnership which will support the involvement of the community and key organisations in the town and surrounding villages affected by planned growth.

“We are currently in the process of facilitating the formation of a Partnership Board which, while in its infancy, is expected to hold its inaugural meeting in June.”

What do you think of the board? Email andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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