Sunday, 28 July 2013

Summer holiday activities for Thetford Community Association


Grant success for local charity

A community group in Thetford is looking forward to putting on Summer Holiday activities for young people thanks to a £4,500 grant.

The Thetford Community Association was successful with a recent funding application to the Breckland Youth Advisory Board.

The money will mean that the charity can put on three football coaching sessions throughout the Summer Holidays for youngsters aged 11-18 years and they can also continue with their gardening club for two sessions a week.

Project Co-ordinator Terry Jermy said; “We are delighted with this recent grant success as it means that we can put on some much needed Summer holiday activities. Our coaching sessions are popular throughout the year but we have very limited funds so are not always able to stage activities all year round. This money will mean that we can continue with both projects throughout the Summer”.

The money will also pay for a football themed trip, most likely to a stadium for the young people that attend, and a gardening themed trip.

A family fun day and five a side football tournament will also be staged on Saturday 31st August as part of the Thetford Festival programme. The event will run from 11am – 4pm and take place on Melford Common. Stalls from local groups and charities are welcome, and anybody wanting to run a table top sale.

Sharon Matthews, Director of Operations for the Benjamin Foundation, said on behalf of Breckland YAB: “This exciting programme of summer activities has been funded by the Breckland Youth Advisory Board with backing from Norfolk County Council.  The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) places young people at the heart of the decision making at every step of the way.  This includes identifying young people’s priorities and needs in their area, and making decisions as to who should provide the services to meet these needs through a commissioning process.  The Breckland Youth Advisory Board also involves young people in the quality assurance of the services it has funded and will visit some of the TCA activities over the summer and scrutinise reports on progress.  We really look forward to visiting the activities put on by TCA and wish them every success”.

For more information about any of the activities, contact the Thetford Community Association on 07533204067 or email

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Feedback from Dane Close resident

Was really heartened to see this bit of feedback crop up today:

"Want to say a big thank you to Terry Jermy. I told him about the state of the pavement and roads along Dane Close on Sunday, then today - 48 hours later, Council officials have already come down and marked them all up for repair. That's why you have to vote for him on 1st August - as he gets things done for people and for Thetford!"

Monday, 22 July 2013

Public meeting on future of Charles Burrell School site

My comments at tonights public meeting regarding the future of the Charles Burrell School site:

We have known for some time that the Charles Burrell site will be closing, personally I think it is crucial that the local community are involved in any future plans which is why I am so pleased that this public meeting is now going ahead after I suggested it some months ago.

I am delighted that so many people are here this evening for this meeting.

Those of us that live on this side of Thetford will know that there is a distinct lack of community facilities available. Whether it be facilities available for the whole community, or space for young people’s activities or a meeting point for older residents – we have long needed better facilities.

There is also a very real danger that with all of the growth happening to the North of Thetford, all of the new facilities, including the expanded high-school, potentially the skatepark, and new community centres, we cannot allow this side of Thetford to be left behind and forgotten.

This site is a recognised hub for the community, many groups already use the facilities, usage that could increase considerably now that education usage will not take place on site, freeing up availability.

Whether it be the Dolphins that use the pool, the cookery classes in the food tech block, or the Thetford Players using the main hall for one of their productions, the whole site has much greater potential.

There are also value for money considerations as the site has seen a considerable amount of public money invested in it over the last few years – the facilities really have improved here so much, particularly since I was a pupil here some years ago.

I am sure as well that the last thing that the County Council wants is an empty site that will be costing them money, and that is the last thing the local community would want either.

From my own thoughts, and through discussions with local residents; I would like to see the front section of the site kept, the area that includes the front reception and office block, the food technology unit, the canteen and kitchens, the main hall, the swimming pool and gym area above and the classroom block to the side of the pool that used to be the science block. This section could make a fantastic self-contained community area that could provide a location for a whole number of activities.

Cost will surely be a major factor, with all local Councils having limited funds available – but we have got to explore what can be done here, rather than not considering it at all. This site has too much potential to not even consider the options. 

Problems around Dane Close

Dear Flagship, Breckland and County;

Please find attached some photographs of the Dane Close area and the Icknield Way garage block.

I am aware that the Icknield Way garage block belongs to Flagship, and I have asked via your Facebook page that the garage that is currently full of rubbish, is cleared and boarded up securely, and that the mattress and other debris is removed.

I assume that the garage block in Dane Close itself is also a Flagship one - I note that the guttering is in a mess and needs addressing and there is a boarded up garage that could do with a new metal door if possible please.


I am not sure if the pathway is a Breckland pathway or a Norfolk CC one? The pathway is opposite number 23 Dane Close - perhaps you could check your records and deal with this as a priority as it is in an appalling condition.

In addition to this, there are two grit bins in the vicinity that are according to residents not re-filled with grit / salt when necessary - do they appear on the NCC system?

The drains in this area are very full, and need clearing out to prevent the area flooding - according to residents this is a regular occurrence. 

I'll be most grateful if you could deal with all these matters as a priority as they have been outstanding for sometime.

Many thanks,
Terry Jermy
Town & District Councillor, Saxon Ward

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Further email correspondence from residents...


Firstly, thank you for your hand delivered personalised letter with regard to the forthcoming local elections.

I note with interest that you have lived in Thetford all your life (age 27) and your wishes to improve Thetford in many ways.  I also note your comments that in recent weeks you have spoken with "100's" of people, knocking on "100's" of doors obtaining views, opinions etc!!

I would however like to say that I moved to Thetford in December 1972 (I make that 40 years and seven months), I have worked full time in Thetford all those years, paid ,my taxes, and am still working full time at age almost 59.  In all those years no County Councillor  has ever knocked on my door to ask my views / opinions or concerns that I may have, obviously you included as the letter was posted through my letterbox with no attempt to knock at my door, incidentally I was at home at the time the letter was delivered.

You ask for our votes, but how would we know if we are making the right "party" choice, remember we have never spoken, and you certainly don't know the issues I would raise if given the chance.

Anyway, I would like to wish you good luck in the elections.

Best regards


Dear Mr and Mrs XXXXXXX

Thank-you for taking the time to email me.

Apologies that I have been unable to canvass your area as of yet for this election. There are 10,000 electors for the Thetford-West County division and it is physically impossible to talk to every single one, but I am making as much effort as possible to talk to as many as I can. So far myself and the campaign team have spoken to 2,400 people as part of the campaign and we will be continuing up until polling day.

If my information is correct I believe you live at xxxxx Road? in which case I did manage to door knock your area prior to the May 2nd election, but of course not everybody will be at home each time I do this - so apologies for that. I do however know your area very well as I deliver the monthly About Thetford magazine to xxxx Road etc - if I remember correctly your house is the one with the nice front garden!

Not only have I lived in Thetford all my life, I was born not too far away from where you live. I was born at Ash Close and now live at Elm Road. If there is anything that voters wish to ask me about then they can either telephone, or email or request that I visit them - which I am very happy to do. I'm always very happy to hear peoples opinions and issues - that's what being a Councillor is all about for me.

Best wishes,
Terry Jermy

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Answers to some recent Twitter queries...

I have spent today knocking on hundreds of doors and talking to people about a whole variety of issues - I love that side of elections, I really do. Discussing local issues, outlining my own thoughts, and encouraging people to vote is what elections for me are all about. Thank-you to the numerous people that have helped my campaign today - I really appreciate it!!

What I dislike most about elections however is the nasty comments from other candidates and supporters and the accusations that they are prepared to make about somebody's character - often when they are without the full facts. I always avoided this and try to avoid engaging in personal criticism about the other candidates, even when encouraged to do so by the public. I do however get annoyed when people deliberately mislead the public, and where necessary I attempt to set people straight, but on the whole, negative campaigning gives politics a bad name.

I have had several tweets today asking me a variety of questions. You do not get much space to response on Twitter, so I shall attempt to answer some of those points here;

1. Do I get paid for some litter picking services? I currently supply services to Thetford Community Association, a registered charity, on a self employed basis. I have done this since 2009 - before this date, I supported the TCA in an entirely voluntary capacity, since its creation in October 2000. The support that I provide is very varied but mainly focuses on project management / co-ordination, particularly in relation to the community football coaching project and the horticulture work that the TCA undertakes. I also write funding applications on behalf of the charity and take care of monitoring reports etc. As part of this self employed work I personally ensure that the Ballpark is kept clean, safe and usable - and as part of this, I do on a regular basis clean the Ballpark, i.e. I remove the broken glass, the dog faeces and any other dangerous materials and I do pick up the litter when necessary. I allocate 2 hours per week for this, but it nearly always consumes more than 2 hours worth of my time - for which I do not claim for. 

I also participate with, and help organise litter picks on a voluntary basis in a variety of areas in Thetford and have done so for many years. 

Some of the rubbish collected during a recent Ballpark litter-pick.

2. My support for Thetford Free School; Nico Dobbin, the Principal Designate of the Free School used to be my teacher - so you could say I have a vested interest in this, or you could say that I know those behind it well enough to know that it would be the type of project that I would wish to support. The Thetford Free School will cater for those young people that are shut out of mainstream education and those at serious risk of falling into a downward spiral. The staff involved have the best interests of the children at heart and are very good at working with this hard to reach group. Since Conservative led Norfolk County Council removed services such as Norfolk Youth Service, Connexions and then closed the Thetford Pupil Referral Unit - this has made the sort of provision that the Thetford Free School will provide even more crucial. I have been a long-standing supporter of the Free School for Thetford, and find the comment expressed on Twitter earlier that I am only supporting it now because of the impending by-election, to be particularly distasteful.

3. Bus station campaign - "What bus station campaign?" asks Tristan Ashby. Not for the first time my Conservative opponent in this election shows his naivety and lack of local knowledge with this question. There was a Parish Poll on where the bus station should be sited, it was a simple yes or no question - i.e. Do you support moving the bus station, or not. I was a member of the Vote No campaign team. I co-ordinated the design and printing of the Vote No literature and I stood outside numerous supermarkets and in the Town Centre talking to people about the poll and discussing why they should vote. I lobbied for the Town Council to support the poll, which they did. For the record, Conservative Town Councillors voted FOR moving the bus station, AGAINST having the Parish Poll, and then AGAINST promoting the parish poll when they lost the vote on whether to have one at all. That's right - they voted AGAINST promoting an election to people where they had a democratic right to vote.

Here's the Radio Norfolk discussion on the morning after the Parish Poll vote when a Conservative District Councillor said that nearly 2,000 people (81%) voting no was irrelevant!

4. Norfolk County Council / Charles Burrell High School; We have known for quite sometime that CBHS site will cease to be used for education. I was very aware from an early stage that it would be crucial to the Barnham Cross community, particularly, that part of the school remained of use to the community. Thetford Dolphins had also lobbied the Town Council as they had been made aware that at some point they would not be able to use the site. I spoke with my two fellow District Councillors for the Saxon Ward - Sylvia Armes and Mark Robinson. I drafted a letter to Norfolk County Council on the matter and asked Sylvia and Mark if they were happy to add their names to it - Sylvia agreed, and then Mark agreed, which I was pleased about. Because, despite the fact that Mark is a Conservative District Councillor, I believe that once elected we should all work together. Interestingly, I can recall that Mark got into trouble with his Conservative colleagues for signing the letter with us.

Here is said letter, on the 11th November 2011:

That letter led to a meeting with Norfolk officers at County Hall - Myself and Sylvia attended this, but Mark was unable to. The then County Councillor for Thetford-West, Mr Mike Brindle was also invited, but could not make it. Officers at the meeting made clear to us that the Conservative Cabinet member responsible for what would happen to the land once the school had finished using it (Cllr Cliff Jordan) had made it clear that they wanted the best possible financial result from the land and that community use wasn't favoured as "Thetford already has enough community facilities' and that sort of usage wasn't sustainable and there was no business plan etc - indeed, there wouldn't be, but one could be pulled together if there was the political will to make it happen. 

5. Town Council support for groups that I am involved in; Yes, groups that I have been involved with have received funding from Thetford Town Council - when required I always declare whether I have a disclosable pecuniary interest - as per the code of conduct, and my necessary details are recorded accurately on my register of interests - held by the Council and available for all to inspect. I have not taken part in votes when organisations that I get paid to support have had financial contributions discussed. This is the type of mudslinging that I particularly dislike - I could highlight all sorts of 'dodgy' goings on with local Conservative Councillors, but I won't! 

I think that's about it.... until the next load of questions, I'm sure :(

Friday, 19 July 2013

Recent email correspondence re: UKIP

Hi Terry,

Thank you for taking the time to write me a letter with regards to our conversation.

I would be very interested to know your thoughts on a couple of questions I have.

UKIP have just posted their leaflet through the door, the most attractive thing they talk about is leaving the EU, they make this sound like a positive move due to the fact that will stop more foreign people joining the UK, where do you stand on this?

I noticed you mentioned that Thetford Academy is under incredible pressure which includes a large number of special educational needs children. My son XXXX would have been one of a special needs group had I not found out what caused his behavioural/listening skills problems. Since changing both xxxxxx and xxxxxx diet 6 months ago they are different children for the better, the improvement is massive and I am sure it could help a large number of children. Strangely enough its not just bad food that caused the problems, when xxxx ate an apple and became aggressive I researched further and came across Salicylates and the website.

Please feel free to contact me should you like to discuss any of the points in more detail.

Kind regards, 



Hi xxxxxx
Thank-you for your email.
I do not support leaving the EU entirely, I think the benefits to Great Britain, particularly with regards to trade links are too strong for us to leave - think of how many jobs would be lost if trade to European countries were to be interrupted or made more difficult?
I do however support reviewing the UKs welfare system because of Britains membership of the EU. I.e. we need to re-evaluate when people are entitled to certain benefits if they move to this Country. You cannot take out of a system until you have adequately paid into it, in my opinion.
All of this is slightly misleading however - this is a Norfolk County Council by-election, should the UKIP candidate be successful, there will be absolutely nothing that he can do with regards to immigration or the EU. He should be talking about services that Norfolk CC are responsible for, such as education, children's services, roads and public transport, adult social services. etc. Their literature rarely talks about matters directly associated with the actual poll, but they seek the votes from people regardless - this is very misleading. Their leaflet about Romanians and Bulgarians for example is nothing short of scaremongering.
I notice from the UKIP leaflet that I received that it mentions planning maters and protecting our local heritage - again, this is a Breckland Council matter as they are the planning authority.
Regarding your point about special needs children; Yes, we do have a considerable number of special needs children in Thetford - this is not helped by the fact that nearly £1million pounds worth of special needs funding has been taken out of Thetford by Norfolk County Council, including the closure of the Pupil Referral Unit and other services. Advice such as yours, e.g. improving diets etc. is very valuable advice that should be made available to parents to address issues before they develop too far - scrapping early intervention services and advice projects, e.g. Connexions, Norfolk Youth Service and Thetford Education Partnership, will not help the situation. These are services that I believe in and will continue to fight for.
I hope that helps outline my position?
Best wishes
Terry Jermy


Hi Terry,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me.

I feel UKIP are out of order for sending that misleading information, so many people will vote for them on the back of their false leaflet!

I am please you are keen to support our children, I found that the NHS system were unable to diagnose Edwards problems and I had to source support from Australia, I would be pleased to help where ever I could should the opportunity ever arise.

We will be voting for you!

Kind regards,


Living Wage for Breckland