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'Forgotten' Watton in the spotlight on Sky News politics show

PUBLISHED: 11:35 27 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:08 28 January 2019

Sophy Ridge filmed for her Sky news show Ridge on Sunday in Watton. PHOTO: Sky News

Sophy Ridge filmed for her Sky news show Ridge on Sunday in Watton. PHOTO: Sky News

©SKY

The mid Norfolk town of Watton was the focus of a national TV Sunday morning politics show which discussed its history and local people's views on Brexit.

Presenter Sophy Ridge travelled to the market town for her Sky News show to talk to locals about Brexit to find out they think and what they want to happen next.

Opening the feature, she discussed the struggles the town faces, including travel with the closure of the train station in the 1960s and the demise of the high street and said the town was referred to as “forgotten Watton”.

In an interview on the show, mayor Tina Kiddell, said: “In Norfolk, you’re truly British if that makes sense and very stoic.

“I think we are staunchly patriotic. The fact that we’re strong and we know we want out, out means out.

Watton High Street. Picture: Ian BurtWatton High Street. Picture: Ian Burt

“At the moment I feel like we’re in a Hokey Cokey dance, we’re neither in nor out. From my perspective personally, I feel out with no deal.”

Ms Ridge also spoke to Paul Adcock, who owns appliance store Adcocks in Watton, about his concerns over Brexit.

He said: “It’s the uncertainty of it. Uncertainty seems to make people hold back on spending. We want to see stability.”

Cranswick Country Foods, which is the town’s biggest employer, was also the focused on, with Ms Ridge telling the programme that 900 of the 1200 employees who work there are from eastern Europe.

One of those employees told the show: “Think about all the people. We are also a part of this country.”

George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, also spoke to the programme and said: “It’s also very clear to me that it’s a vote for change, a vote of legitimate grievances.

“People feel like Watton is getting a lot of housing and no infrastructure. People see public services under pressure because of the austerity post crash.

“They see the old main employer the Bowes pig factory owned by a local family in the 50s and 60s now owned by Cranswick Country Foods, 900 employees from eastern Europe, and they feel the growth in Cambridge is only 40 miles away, it might as well be 100 years away.

“Watton feels frankly, as you reported, it feels forgotten even within mid Norfolk, within Breckland. The main money from the council goes to Dereham and Thetford.”

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