Praise for Itteringham’s shop in House of Lords

Lord Walpole sang the praises of his north Norfolk village shop and sounded a note of caution about the future of the county's museums during a House of Lords debate.

Speaking during the second reading of the Localism Bill, cross-bencher Lord Walpole said his first reaction to the Bill had been one of 'absolute amazement' at its sheer size, but he agreed with some of its objects.

'I hope that it will enable co-operatives to be able to run local shops, such as we do in our village at Itteringham. It is a very good shop and responds to local needs,' said Lord Walpole, owner of nearby Mannington Hall and Wolterton Hall.

But he added that he had doubts about other objects of the Bill, 'such as the Norfolk Museum Service discussion about using a trust to run museums,' he said.

'Possibly this may help spend more money, but I am not sure they will spend it on the right things. The whole thing is sad, and we have got to watch it.'

The government says its wide-ranging bill would shift powers from central government to communities.

Its provisions include a 'community right to challenge,' allowing voluntary groups, social enterprises, parish councils and others to bid to take over council-run services. Expressions of interest would have to be considered by the local authority.

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