George Freeman launches digital and doorstep campaign in bid to retain Mid Norfolk seat
- Credit: Nick Butcher
George Freeman, who was elected Mid Norfolk MP in 2010, has been unanimously readopted as the Mid Norfolk Conservative candidate for this general election.
He has launched a digital democracy campaign to reach more voters through social media as well as going door-to-door.
As part of his election campaign he has also vowed to go to as many schools as possible at picking-up time to talk to parents and to hear their concerns.
On a visit to Toftwood and Yaxham he heard that many were worried about new housing putting pressure on already over-subscribed school places.
He also wanted to hear if a new speed limit outside Yaxham primary school was working. Three years ago he helped launch a '20's Plenty' campaign to reduce the speed of traffic on the road.
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Interim headteacher Karen Winter told him some were still driving too fast.
Mr Freeman said if Dereham could shape an effective town plan it would stop motorists rat-running through villages.
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He is calling for a Dereham Plan Partnership to help shape the plan, with input from schools, surgeries, businesses, Highways and the Environment Agencies.
'People are generally not against new housing and are very aware that young families are struggling to get their own places,' he said. 'But they want the infrastructure to come first. Proper infrastructure will only come with a larger volume of housing.
'At the moment even GP surgeries are not consulted in the planning process so the system is being led by developers and the council can only respond to applications. It may have worked in 1947 but it doesn't work now.'
Mr Freeman said he wanted to see more money spent on frontline services such as the NHS and community care and he hoped his campaign would engage with as many people as possible, encouraging those who are less likely to vote to get out to the polling stations on June 8.
He is planning to sleep rough with the homeless, work in kitchens and with cleaners and visit care homes to find out what issues the people in Mid Norfolk really care about.
He will be engaging on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Periscope to 'reach out to people beyond traditional politics,' he said.
1. Housing and planning: to continue his opposition to urban sprawl and inappropriate 'dumping' of commuter estates in Mid Norfolk without investment in infrastructure and facilities
2. Better NHS and Community Care for the Elderly and those with Dementia and Mental illness.
3. A new approach to Skills For All: leading a project to get everyone leaving school or college a Passport and Travel Voucher for Training.