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Return to Broads Authority for booted out member as council's appointee

PUBLISHED: 16:59 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 01 June 2019

James Knight who runs the Waveney River Centre at Burgh St Peter.

Picture: James Bass

James Knight who runs the Waveney River Centre at Burgh St Peter. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

A businessman who was booted off the Broads Authority less than a year ago has been appointed back to the body - as a local authority member.

Haydn Thirtle outgoing chairman of the Broads Authority Picture: James BassHaydn Thirtle outgoing chairman of the Broads Authority Picture: James Bass

James Knight, managing director of the Waveney River Centre, was removed from the authority following critical comments he made on his blog around a planning row.

Before his removal, Mr Knight was a member of the navigation committee, but will now serve as South Norfolk Council's representative on the authority.

It comes after Mr Knight was elected as a Conservative councillor for the Thurlton ward in the May local elections.

He said: "My view has always been that the Broads Authority needs people who will challenge officers and ask the right questions - rather than just taking answers they are given.

"I think it is time for a bit of a change at the authority and I hope I can contribute to that."

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Mr Knight's opportunity came after Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor put forward two new representatives, Fran Whymark and Vic Thomson - who replace John Timewell and current BA chairman Haydn Thirtle.

Mr Thomson's selection by the county council therefore meant a vacancy was available for South Norfolk, which the Rockland councillor previously held.

Mr Knight added: "Vic is an experienced member of the Broads Authority so I was surprised when I was approached, but it was explained he had been appointed by County Hall.

"While Fran is new to the BA, as Wroxham's councillor he represents a Broads ward so that is positive too."

The new county council appointees also mean the authority will need to select a new chairman at its next meeting in July.

Outgoing chairman Mr Thirtle said: "As a member of the navigation committee, Mr Knight failed to uphold the standards expected of those in public office and as a result the authority was forced to take the unprecedented step of removing him.

"It therefore comes as a surprise that South Norfolk has appointed him to the authority.

"I trust that Mr Knight will approach this responsibility focussed on the best interests of the Broads and those that appreciate them, as we would expect of all members."

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